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As things stand Qatar Airways operates the longest commercial flight in the world between Auckland and Doha but we’ve known for months that Singapore Airlines planned to fly even further.
Ever since Airbus first said that it would build an A350 Ultra Long Range aircraft Singapore Airlines has said that it would like to go back to offering a non-stop service between Singapore and New York (it last flew this route in 2013) and now, finally, it has done just that.
On 11 October 2018 Singapore Airlines will begin flying between Singapore and New York’s Newark airport covering a distance of approximately 9,534 miles beating the current long distance record by around 500 miles.
For the first week the flight will operate on Monday, Thursday and Saturday but after that (i.e. from 18 October 2018) a daily service will be offered.
Between 18 October and 27 October 2018 the schedule for the world’s longest commercial flight will look like this:
SQ22 SIN 23:35 – 06:00+1 day EWR (Daily)
SQ21 EWR 10:45 – 17:30+1-day SIN (Daily)
After that, and for the Northern Hemisphere winter season (28 October 2018 – 30 March 2019), the schedule changes to look like this:
SQ22 SIN 04:00 – 05:30+1 day EWR (Daily)
SQ21 EWR 09:45 – 17:15+1-day SIN (Daily)
The flight is scheduled to take up to 18 hours and 45 minutes (an hour longer than the current longest commercial flight) but at least things should be comfortable for passengers.
I cannot imagine enduring (or needing to endure) an 18+ hour flight in Economy Class but it looks like I won’t have to if I choose to fly this route – an Economy Class cabin won’t be on offer.
Singapore Airlines has confirmed that the A350-900ULR will be configured in a 2-class layout with 67 Business Class seats……
…..and 94 Premium Economy class seats….
…so there shouldn’t be any particularly bad seats on board.
The Business Class class seats are 28″ wide and convert into a lie-flat bed that’s 78″ (6ft 6″) long while the Premium Economy seats are 19″ wide and offer 38″ of seat pitch (leg room).
That’s not the roomiest Premium Economy seat you’ll find (Virgin Atlantic’s seats are 2″ wider) but it should still be enough to make the journey tolerable.
Bookings for the longest commercial flight in the world are set to open tomorrow (31 May 2018)
Singapore Airlines plans to take delivery of 7 ultra long range A350s over the next few years and the airline has confirmed that it plans to offer a non-stop service between Singapore and Los Angeles in the near future…but that still leaves a number of aircraft free to operate elsewhere.
There have been rumors that another North American destination is planned and, if I was to guess, I’d say that Chicago may be a possibility.
The distance between Singapore and Chicago is approximately 9,350 miles so it’s definitely a route the ultra long range A350 is designed for and, considering Chicago is a major hub for United Airlines (Singapore Airlines’ Star Alliance partner), it wouldn’t be illogical to expect Singapore Airlines to consider it as an option for the A350-900ULR.
18 hours and 45 minutes is a very, very long time to sit in an aircraft (even in Business Class) but if any airline can make this work then it’s probably Singapore Airlines.
The airline already offers the best Economy Class experience in the world and its Business and First Class are genuinely aspirational products that everyone I know loves to fly so I fully expect the airline to make the cabins and service on this route very good indeed.
I’d really love to try this route out but my calendar is already so booked up I can’t see how I’m going to fit it in this year – I may have to show a bit of patience and wait until 2019.
Any readers planning to book the world’s longest commercial flight when reservations open tomorrow?