The World's Longest Flight Will Soon Be 19 Hours — Because 18 Wasn't Enough
By the end of this year, Singapore Airlines hopes to take back the record for world’s longest flight on a newly developed aircraft.
Airbus will unveil its new A350-900 Ultra Long-Range jet later this year, and Singapore is slated to be the first airline to receive the plane, according to Straits Times.
Singapore Airlines previously operated a flight from Singapore to Newark, but cancelled the route in 2013 because of prohibitive operational costs.
However, the new A350-900 ULR could make long flights cheaper to operate. Airbus boasts of the aircraft’s fuel efficiency for ultra-long flights. It is capable of flying up to 11,160 miles, about 1,800 more than a standard A350. And the Singapore — New York route won’t even push the plane’s limits. The flight is 9,521 miles and will take 19 hours.
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Because of the grueling flight time, Singapore Airlines plans to operate the flight with a two-class configuration: business and premium economy. The plane will be fitted with lighting to combat jet lag and an air circulation system that renews the air every two minutes.
The Singapore flight will be about one hour longer than the current world record holder for longest flight, Qatar’s route from Auckland to Doha. The 9,032-mile journey takes about 18 hours. A close second is Qantas’s flight from Perth to London, launched in March, that takes a bit more than 17 hours.
Singapore has ordered seven A350-900ULR aircraft and will use them to increase its long-haul service around the world. The airline also plans to fly nonstop to Los Angeles, a 15-hour flight, beginning in 2019.
The A350-900 ULR completed its first test flight earlier this week at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France.