Economy

World's longest flight makes a comeback

World's longest flight makes a comeback”

Singapore Airlines is the first carrier in the world to operate the A350-900ULR.

Airbus CEO Tom Enders said the new plane is a "milestone" for Airbus and Singapore Airlines.

The route, combined with the airline's plans to restart non-stop services to Los Angeles and add more non-stop flights to San Francisco next month, will give the premium Asian carrier its biggest-ever USA presence.

For the flight crew - which also includes two first officers and a 13-strong cabin contingent - the workload will be broken up, the airline said, with each pilot having a minimum eight hours' rest during the flight.

"It's turning out to be a race between a few airlines eyeing the longest routes inter-continentally", said Shukor Yusof of aviation consultancy Endau Analytics.

Like on Qantas' mammoth Perth to London flight, Singapore Airlines is putting the emphasis on wellness with mindful food and sleep strategies that aim to make the flight more comfortable. The details further said that the flight has been created to carry 161 passengers which include 67 in the business class and 94 in the premium economy.

The new flight will connect Changi Airport with Newark Liberty International and will beat the record held by Qatar Airways for its Auckland to Doha flight, which takes 17.5 hours to cover just over 9,000 miles. Pilots will get three nights off after reaching NY.

The route was later abandoned due to rising fuel costs - an issue the airline has countered this time around with their fancy new fuel-efficient A350-900 ULR plane.

The 13 cabin crew will get at least four hours rest during the flight and two days to enjoy NY before the return leg.

Singapore Airlines originally flew the route for nine years using the gas-guzzling, four-engine A340-500 before abandoning it in 2013 because high oil prices made the service unprofitable.

That means keeping the plane as light as possible.

Airbus said the A350-900URL plane's cabin has higher-than-normal ceilings, larger windows and lighting created to reduce jet lag - all part of an effort to lessen the stresses that can accompany nearly a day on a plane. In this case, I present to you the Airbus A350-900ULR.

But the ultra-long-range version that SIA has bought from Airbus has the longest capability of any aircraft flying today, thanks in part to a slightly modified fuel system.

Weight savings alone won't get the plane to Newark in one hop.



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