Singapore Airlines launches world's longest flight to NY

Longest long-haul flight to New York draws curious flyers

Two pilots, a special "wellness" menu and more than a thousand hours of inflight entertainment will accompany travellers on the first 10,400-mile flight to the Big Apple today (Thursday, October 11).

Singapore Airlines is set to launch a new non-stop service between Singapore and NY on Thursday, with a flight time of 18 hours and 45 minutes - and they'll be farewelling squishy economy seats for the plush new service. That means more space, with 67 flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration for business class and 94 premium economy places in a mostly 2-4-2 arrangement at the rear. The world longest flight is now crowned to Singaporean airlines.

Two first officers and 13-strong cabin contingent will be available for the flight crew. I have many questions, the least of which is - why anyone would want to go to Newark badly enough to sit on a plane for 19 hours...? Check out how we built the world's longest range airliner!

A spokesman for Singapore Airlines announced that SQ22 flew 18.35, carrying 150 passengers and 17 crew. The Singapore to NY leg, which takes off on Oct 11, is expected to take 17 hours and 50 minutes, and the return trip is 18 hours and 30 minutes.

The plane has a higher ceiling, bigger windows and a wider body, with less noise in the cabin and LED lighting that is created to reduce jet lag.

"Research has shown that hydration and food intake are important factors (to consider), such as avoiding foods that cause gas or bloating as well as excessive alcohol", Rhenu Bhuller, a healthcare expert at consultancy Frost & Sullivan, said.

The aircraft can fly for over 20 hours or 18,000km (11,250 miles) non-stop.

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The airline is not planning to offer any economy bookings on the route.

The twin-engine plane uses a modified system that burns 25 per cent less fuel than other aircraft of a similar size, Airbus said.

"They are hoping to capitalise and exploit a very niche market", he said.

Four airlines now connect Singapore to six USA cities.

"Ultra-long haul services comprise an important component of that strategy", an airline spokesman said. In this case, I present to you the Airbus A350-900ULR. It received the first aircraft in September.

Long-haul flights halfway across the globe are making a comeback even with oil prices close to their highest in four years. Six more are due for delivery by the end of the year. With SIA's new non-stop services, there will be 72 weekly passenger services between Changi and the U.S., noted Changi Airport Group spokesman Ivan Tan.

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