After five years of stopping services, Singapore Airlines is coming back to the skies in a big way. The airline will offer the world’s longest non-stop flight with its travel from Singapore to New York. The 15,000 km trip will take an estimated 19 hours.
This new flight edges out previous record holder Qatar Air’s 17.5-hour flight between Auckland and Doha. Qantas is also a player in the ultra-long haul flight game with their 17-hour non-stop from Perth to London.
19 hours in the air
While 19 hours seems like a painful length of time to be confined to a plane, passengers have been grabbing tickets while they can. The flight takes off from Changi Airport to Newark’s International Airport in New Jersey.
Singapore Airlines told press outlets the demand for non-stop services inspired them to create this route; they’re not surprised people are buying these tickets. Singapore Airlines officials told the BBC that business class seats for the lengthy flight were booked solid. However, if anyone wishes to join the flight, there might still be a handful of economy seats available.
Two meals will be served on the flight
Worried about entertainment and meals on a 19-hour flight? Don’t be! Singapore Airlines will offer business class passengers two meals, giving passengers the option as to when they eat. There are also refreshments throughout the flight and a bed to sleep in.
If two meals aren’t enough during a 19-hour flight, the premium economy ticket offers an additional meal on top of the refreshments.
The bus holds 161 passengers in total. There are 67 business passengers and 94 premium economy passengers on the Airbus plane. According to airline experts, Singapore Airlines expects a majority of its passengers to be business people who need the convenience of non-stop flights rather than suffer through the hassles of layovers.
Aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas is scheduled to be on today’s flight. He told the BBC “This is a route between two massive financial hubs, and so they will fill this plane up with business people, or well-heeled travellers who want the convenience of a non stop flight.”
“It’s also been proven that when carriers introduce a new non-stop route, the traffic on that route increases threefold.”
The latest predictions from Singapore Airlines estimate the exact flight time will be 18 hours and 25 minutes. During that time, officials at Airbus will be keeping a close eye on the ultra-long range plane. The ULR series is meant to eventually replace Boeing’s older 777 series, and it uses roughly 30 percent less fuel than the 777s.