On September 24, 2018, Airbus delivers the first A350-900 Ultra Long Range (ULR) aircraft to launch customer Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) (SIA). The aircraft to begin service on October 11, 2018, on a Singapore – New York route. With an average flying time of 18 hours and 45 minutes, these will be the world’s longest commercial flights, according to Airbus.

The long-haul flight will break the distance record currently held by Qatar Airways between Doha, Qatar and Auckland, New Zealand. Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) used to operate the Singapore-New York route until 2013, date after which the price of fuel made the operating cost of their A340-500 financially inefficient.

“Today’s delivery is a milestone for Airbus and Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) , as together we open a new chapter in non-stop air travel,” Tom Enders, Airbus CEO is quoted in a statement as saying. Following New York, the aircraft will enter service with SIA on two more non-stop transpacific routes: to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Singapore Airlines announced on May 29, 2018, that it would start operating the world’s longest commercial flight from October 2018. The 19 hours route will go from Singapore to Newark, on the eastern coast of the United States. The long-haul flight will break the distance record currently held by Qatar Airways between Doha, Qatar and Auckland, New Zealand.
 

The A350-900ULR is a development of the A350-900. The main change over the standard aircraft is a modified fuel system, enabling the fuel carrying capacity to be increased by 24,000 litres to 165,000 litres. This extends the range of the aircraft without the need for additional fuel tanks. In addition, the aircraft features a number of aerodynamic enhancements, including extended winglets, which are now being applied to all in-production A350-900 aircraft.

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On July 30, 2018, the first Airbus Ultra Long Range A350 XWB, has rolled out of the paint shop in its launch customer’s Singapore Airlines distinctive livery.