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SINGAPORE Airlines’ (SIA) longest flight, also the world’s longest, is just about ready for takeoff.
And to accommodate the non-stop 19-hour journey to New York from the Southeast Asian island of Singapore, the carrier took delivery of the Airbus SE A350-900 ultra-long-range (ULR) aircraft.
This is the first of the seven A350-900ULRs SIA has on firm order with Airbus.
SIA chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong said it was a “proud moment” for the airline.
“The A350-900ULR will bring more convenience and comfort to our customers and will enable us to operate ultra-long-range flights in a commercially viable manner. It will help us boost our network competitiveness and further grow the Singapore hub,” Goh said in a statement.
SIA currently operates 40 US-bound flights a week. The upcoming route will help SIA fill a gap in its US network that has benefited rivals including Qantas Airways and Cathay Pacific Airways.
The new service will effectively overtake the current longest, Qatar’s 17.5-hour Auckland to Doha route.
Here are some of the features of Singapore Airlines’ A350-900ULR:
- The plane is capable of flying about 20 hours non-stop.
- The flight to New York will cover a distance of approximately 16,700 kilometers, with traveling time of up to 18 hours and 45 minutes.
- The aircraft is configured in a two-class layout with 67 business class seats and 94 premium economy seats.
- The aircraft also comes with higher ceilings, larger windows, a wider body, quieter cabins and lighting designed to reduce jet lag.
- The ULR is a variant of the A350, with the main change over the standard aircraft being a modified fuel system.
- This will help the plane carry 165,000 liters of fuel, an increase of 24,000 liters.
- The plane also features a number of aerodynamic enhancements, including extended winglets.
“The combination of the A350’s quiet, spacious cabin and SIA’s world-renowned in-flight product will ensure the highest levels of passenger comfort on the world’s very longest routes,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders said.
The first commercial flight between Singapore and Newark Liberty International Airport will be on Oct 11, 2018. It will initially offer three flights in the first week, increasing to daily from Oct 18, 2018.
By the end of 2018, SIA will link Singapore and the US with 27 weekly non-stop flights.
For more information, visit Singapore Airlines’ website.