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The World's Longest Non-Stop Commercial Flight Will Launch Next Month

The nearly 19-hour flight from Singapore to New York will soon take to the skies.
By Sarah Ward
September 23, 2018
By Sarah Ward
September 23, 2018

Travelling overseas ranks right up there on everyone's bucket list, but the actual travelling part is far from fun. No one loves spending more than a couple of hours on a plane, and no one loves taking multiple flights to get to their destination either. But if you could choose between hopping over to your destination in one leg, or getting a break from being cramped and uncomfortable in the air, which would you opt for?

Thanks to advances in aircraft development, ensuring that today's planes are more fuel-efficient over hefty distances, airlines are increasingly making non-stop long-range flights a reality. After Qantas introduced its 17-hour-plus Perth-to-London route earlier this year, Singapore Airlines will be unleashing the world's longest non-stop commercial flight in October: from Singapore to New York over 18 hours and 45 minutes.

First announced by the airline in 2015 and confirmed a few months back, the route will be made possible thanks to the new Ultra Long Range version of the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft, which completed its first successful test flight in April. Singapore Airlines now have the world's first Airbus A350-900ULR in its possession, and it'll take off on October 11, with seven more set to be brought into operation shortly afterwards.

The planes can travel up to 16,000 kilometres (or 8,700 nautical miles) without refuelling — or, for over 20 hours non-stop — which makes the 15,322-kilometre trip between Singapore and New York possible. They also feature higher ceilings, larger windows, a wider body, as well as quieter cabins and lighting that's designed to reduce jetlag.

It's not the first time that the airline has flown direct to the US, with Singapore-to-Newark, New Jersey flights in operation until 2013.

The world's current longest route without stopovers runs from Doha to Auckland in around 18 hours, travelling 14,529 kilometres on a Boeing 777-200LR, followed by the Perth-to-London leg. Qantas is keen to beat both the current and the impending record-holders, though, last year announcing plans to fly direct from Australia's east coast to both London and New York by 2022 — and this year advising that their plans are on track, with the airline comfortable that plane manufacturers will create a vehicle that can handle the 20-hour and 20-minute, 16,983-kilometre stint between Sydney and London.

Published on September 23, 2018 by Sarah Ward
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