A marathon 19 hours in the air

Longest long-haul flight to New York draws curious flyers

Longest long-haul flight to New York draws curious flyers

Singapore Airlines will use the long-range Airbus A350-900ULR, configured to carry 161 passengers - 67 in business class and 94 in premium economy, with no economy seats.

For passengers, however, the big challenge will be about how to pass the time - but more than 1,200 hours of audio-visual entertainment should help.

The A350 is these days considered the go-to plane for long-haul flights, nudging out the A380, which was previously the flagship for such long distance journeys, and which carries up to 850 passengers, more than twice the number of the A350.

According to the airline, the menu options have been chosen to "promote well-being in the skies", with a healthy selection of organic options on offer.

"I have a lot of notes to read, hopefully I can sleep well", said Ang, a membership director of an IT services firm.

Now estimated to take 18 hours and 25 minutes on the NOPAC (North Pacific) route, the first flight is booked nearly in its entirety, the BBC reports.

"I'm coming back on the next flight. Watch all the movies I can, I guess", said Peggy Ang, who is on business trip to Orlando.

When Singapore Airlines scrapped the previous Singapore-New York flight in 2013, oil was trading around $100 a barrel.

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The cabins in the plane have higher than the normal ceilings, larger windows than the normal and lighting created to reduce jet lag.

The Singapore-Newark route will top Qatar Airways' Doha-Auckland route as the world's longest, but Australia's Qantas Airways is considering the introduction of an even longer 20-hour Sydney-London flight from 2022. Check out how we built the world's longest range airliner!

"They are hoping to capitalise and exploit a very niche market", he said.

"Ultra-long haul services comprise an important component of that strategy", an airline spokesman said.

But Max Kingsley-Jones, group editor of Flight Global, warned that plans for new non-stop routes had a habit of changing in line with the economics of the world. It received the first aircraft in September.

"It allows us to offer a service that eliminates a transfer in the middle, it saves people six hours, it gets people there in comfort ... we think it's going to be a good success", Wilson said.

The route was later abandoned due to rising fuel costs - an issue the airline has countered this time around with their fancy new fuel-efficient A350-900 ULR plane.

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