The world’s longest non-stop commercial flight is set to take off for the first time tomorrow.
Singapore Airlines is set to start its ultra-long-haul service from Changi Airport to New York’s Newark Liberty International – a flight that will take almost 19 hours and cover 10,400 miles.
The flight will use the long-range Airbus A350-900ULR, which will be configured to carry 161 passengers – 67 in business class and 94 in premium economy with extra leg room.
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A Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 900ULR. This is the ultra-long-range aircraft that will make history when it takes off for the world’s longest commercial flight between Singapore and New York tomorrow
There is no standard economy class on board following criticism that it would be too cramped on such a long flight.
The current record holder is Qatar Airways, with its 17-hour 40-minute service from Auckland to Doha.
That flight is only slightly longer than the non-stop Perth to London service operated by Qantas, which covers 9,000 miles and takes 17 hours 20 minutes.
On board the new Singapore Airlines flight there will be four pilots working in shifts.
Singapore Airlines will be the first airline in the world to operate the A350-900ULR on the route, with seven on firm order with Airbus.
The A350-900ULR is said to be designed for a more comfortable travelling experience with features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body, quieter cabins and lighting designed to reduce jetlag.
Its carbon composite airframe has also been designed to allow for improved air quality due to a more optimised cabin altitude and humidity levels.
A map showing some of the longest commercial flights in the world. The route between Singapore and New York will soon be the longest
Singapore to New York – 19 hours (Singapore Airlines)
Auckland to Doha – 17 hours 40 mins (Qatar Airways)
Houston to Sydney – 17 hours 30 mins (United Airlines)
Perth to London – 17 hours 20 mins (Qantas)
Los Angeles to Singapore – 17 hours 20 mins (Singapore Airlines)
Johannesburg to Atlanta – 16 hours 50 mins (Delta Air Lines)
Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles – 16 hours 30 mins (Etihad)
The first two A350-900ULRs will be used for the launch of Singapore to New York services while subsequent aircraft will be used for Singapore to Los Angeles, as well as to increase frequency on the existing Singapore to San Francisco route.
And passengers on board tomorrow’s Singapore to New York will be served a ‘wellness cuisine’ menu aimed at reducing jet lag.
The carrier has partnered with ‘wellness’ brand Canyon Ranch to develop what it described as ‘nutrition-focused’ menus to aid sleep.
And although Singapore Airlines hasn’t revealed the full food service on offer, it has unveiled a sample menu.
It will include an appetiser of wild caught prawn ceviche and lavosh with fresh orange, cucumber, grapefruit, cilantro, scallions and bell peppers.
The main course is seared chicken and zucchini pappardelle featuring pasta-cut zucchini, parmesan, braised tomatoes, lemon vinaigrette and micro basil.
Dessert will include lemon angel food cake with blueberry topping and breakfast will consist of lox eggs benedict with a whole wheat English muffin, chive cream cheese, smoked salmon, organic-egg omelette and yogurt hollandaise.
The route between Singapore and New York will not have any standard economy seats. It will only consist of a premium economy cabin, pictured, and a business class cabin
In the premium economy cabin, pictured, passengers will have extra legroom so they can still stretch out during the 19-hour journey
There will be a total of 67 business class seats (pictured) on the plane. The cabins will also have higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body and lighting designed to reduce jetlag
The business class seats fully fold out into lie-flat beds so passengers can catch up on sleep during the mammoth journey
Canyon Ranch has also been working with the carrier to devise sleep strategies, which will be passed on to help customers in all cabins try to get as much rest as possible on the flights.
One of the strategies includes having specific light settings on board to provide better cabin ambience for rest and relaxation.
Exercise physiologists from Canyon Ranch have also created a programme of stretching exercise to promote relaxation, which are available on the in-flight entertainment.
Meanwhile there will also be over 1,200 hours of film and television to watch to keep customers entertained.
The carrier has partnered with ‘wellness’ brand Canyon Ranch to develop what it described as ‘nutrition-focused’ menus to reduce jet lag. It will include a main course of seared chicken and zucchini pappardelle featuring pasta-cut zucchini, parmesan, braised tomatoes, lemon vinaigrette and micro basil (left). Breakfast will be a dish of lox eggs benedict (right)
However, tickets for the service don’t come cheap. Premium economy fares start at £1,639 while business class starts from £3,689.
Singapore Airlines had flown a similar Singapore to New York route from 2004 until 2013 but cancelled it as it fell short of revenue expectations.
However, the reinstatement comes as carriers look for new sources of revenue in a competitive environment, while long-haul flights often make more cash than those that require stops.
There are also plans for a non-stop route from Singapore to Los Angeles using the same plane.
The flight will take off tomorrow from Singapore’s Changi Airport, pictured, en route for Newark Liberty International
These flights are set to start on November 2 and will take 17 hours, 20 minutes.
However, the flight from Singapore to New York might not hold the record for the longest commercial flight in the world for long.
Earlier this year, Qantas revealed it was close to ordering ultra-long-range jets to carry out services between Sydney and London.
The Australian carrier explained how it is considering an order for ultra-long-range jets such as the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 777X to carry out the service, which is expected to take 20 hours and 20 minutes.
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