Singapore Airlines to re-start world’s longest flights at 19 hours

New ultra- long range planes will facilitate more economical US service

Singapore Airlines plans to restart the world's longest flights when it takes delivery of a new ultra- long range plane made by Airbus Group SE in 2018.

The A350-900ULR jet will facilitate the longest non-stop flights between the city-state and both Los Angeles and New York, the carrier said in a statement on Tuesday.

Nonstop flights between Singapore and additional points in the US are also under consideration.

"Our customers have been asking us to re-start non-stop Singapore to US flights," Singapore Air chief executive Goh Choon Phong said in the statement.


“We are pleased that Airbus was able to offer the right aircraft to do so in a commercially viable manner.”

Singapore Air had held discussions with Airbus and Boeing on developing a plane with new technology that would allow it to fly nonstop to the US profitably, Mr Goh said in an interview in June.

In 2013 the carrier stopped the 19-hour trip from Singapore to Newark, New Jersey, adding about five more hours to travel between the cities.

The journey covered more than 15,300 km (9,500 miles). The daily, all-business-class flights from Singapore to Los Angeles and Newark ended as the routes were not profitable with four-engine aircraft, analysts said previously.

The airline was using a 100-seat Airbus A340-500. Using a plane with two engines would be more economical, as it’s designed for efficient long-range flights, analysts have said.

Singapore Air will take delivery of seven ultra-long range planes capable of flying up to 19 hours, Airbus said in a separate statement.

Optimised for nonstop flights to the US, the aircraft will include a modified fuel system to increase fuel-carrying capacity, an increase in maximum take-off weight and other aerodynamic improvements, Airbus said.

Currently, the world’s longest flight is Qantas Airways’ Sydney to Dallas service using Airbus’s A380 superjumbo.

Emirates intends to wrest away the title of the world's longest airline route with a service from its Dubai hub to Panama City. That Emirates flight, using a Boeing 777-200LR, will traverse 13,821km, outstripping Qantas's service by 17km.