The Jakarta Post
Singapore Airlines officially relaunched a non-stop Singapore-New York route on Thursday.
Flying the new Airbus A350-900 ULR (ultra-long-range), the SQ22 flight departed from Changi International Airport, Singapore, at around 11.37 p.m. local time and landed at Newark Liberty Airport on Oct. 12 at 05.29 a.m. local time.
The flight to New York covered a distance of approximately 16,700 kilometers and the journey took around 17 hours and 52 minutes, making it the world’s longest commercial flight. The flight was faster than the estimated time of 18 hours and 45 minutes.
Previously, the airline also served a similar route, using a A340-500 aircraft, however, it was suspended in 2013 because of cost inefficiency.
The airlines’ senior vice president of marketing Campbell Wilson told The Jakarta Post, “When we decided to return [the A340-500 aircraft], we said to Airbus that if they could build a more efficient aircraft that could do [long-haul flights] with the right economics, we would be interested to buy it.”
In regard to the relaunch, Wilson mentioned that the reopening of the Singapore-New York route was driven by the availability of the aircraft.
Read also: The longest flights in the world
During a media interview on Thursday, Captain S L Leong, Singapore Airlines’ vice president/chief pilot of the A330 and A350 flight operations division, said that the new A350-900 ULR was excellent, as it burned at least 35 percent less fuel that the A340-500.
“This is a good product for us commercially,” he said.
Unlike other long-haul flights, the aircraft is configured in a two-class layout, featuring 67 Business Class and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.
Wilson said that the interior configuration was made based on the demands and the types of passengers the aircraft would be carrying, explaining that since the service connected two financial hubs they largely catered to corporate clients.
In regard to comfort, the A350-900 ULR was designed with higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body, quieter cabins and a lighting system designed to reduce jetlag.
Wilson mentioned that they also had a partnership with US-based wellness institute Canyon Ranch to create an ambience that was suitable for a long-haul flight.
“We’ve increased the number of movies and television programs by 20 percent,“ said Wilson regarding the entertainment.
The Singapore-New York route is currently operating three times a week, departing from Singapore on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. However, starting on Oct 18. the service will be available daily. (mut)
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