SIA to debut world’s longest flight today [Gallery]
On October 11, 2018, 23:35 p.m. local time, a flight from Singapore Changi airport is to take off for New York (Newark) in United States. Scheduled to reach the destination the next day at 6:00 a.m. (local time), it is set to top Qatar airlines Doha-to-Auckland journey as the world’s longest commercial non-stop flight.
Covering a 16,700km (9,000nm) distance in 18 hours and 45 minutes (average time), the long-haul flight will break the distance record currently held by Qatar Airways between Doha, Qatar and Auckland, New Zealand.
To do this, the airline is employing its brand new Airbus A350-900 ULR, which is capable of flying 9,7000nm or 20 hours non-stop. Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) is the launch customer of the aircraft and has received it in September 2018.
SIA is operating the flight in a two-class layout: 67 seats in Business Class and 94 seats in Premium Economy. According to media reports, the airline is to offer various perks for passengers on the 19 hours flight raging from special diet menu to hours and hours of inflight entertainment. Airbus, in turn, claims that passengers are to experience more comfort due to improved cabin design: high ceilings, almost vertical sidewalls, low noise and smart LED lighting.
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.
Starting November 2, 2018, SIA is planning to launch Singapore-Los Angeles service, also using new A350-900ULRs.
In total, Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) operated 40 flights per week to the United States (Houston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco) up until now. By the end of 2018, the airline hopes to increase a total US flight frequency to 53 per week, of which 27 would be non-stop flights.
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