There’s been an informal rivalry between airlines who offer ultra-longhaul flights to have the longest flight in the world. For a long time it was Singapore Airlines flying between Singapore and Newark, but they cancelled that route in 2013 due to fuel costs and, well, fuel costs. I know it sounds like a crazy reason to cancel a route but due to the extreme distance and flying an gas-guzzling A340 it’s been said that almost a third of the fuel on that jet was there just to carry the rest of the fuel.
Since the SIN-EWR route was gone Emirates briefly took the title, flying directly from Dubai to Auckland, New Zealand, a distance of 8824 miles. Qatar Airways, not to be outdone, launched Doha-Auckland service, beating out Emirates by the sheer fact that Qatar is located about an hour’s flight west of Dubai, so a distance of 9032 miles.
But starting October 11 Singapore Airlines will be the long flight champion once again: they’re relaunching their nonstop service between Singapore and Newark, a whopping 9534 miles!
Similar to the last time they ran the route, Singapore Airlines will not offer an economy cabin on this long of a flight (blocked at almost 19 hours). Instead they will offer Premium Economy and Business Class only. This keeps the number of seats down, which saves weight, and allows them to optimize the passenger experience while charging a premium for the nonstop.
Singapore won’t be using an A340 this time either. Instead they’ll use a brand new Airbus A350-900ULR, similar to the A350-900XWB in the photo above. The jet is designed to minimize jetlag and, due to its composite design, make the flying experience for such a long flight semi-pleasant by pressurizing the cabin to a lower altitude than on previous generation jetliners like the 777 and A340.
When does this route relaunch?
The first flight appears to be 11 October of this year and tickets went on sale this morning.
Are you going to be on the inaugural?
I actually looked into it! Unfortunately my requalification for American’s Executive Platinum status is a bit behind schedule so any ultra longhaul flying I do through the end of the year will be on Oneworld airlines to try as hard as I can to requalify.
What should I do if I decide to take this flight to Singapore?
Singapore is a wonderful, if not humid, city with lots to do and lots to see. The Botanical Gardens are excellent and the architecture is about as varied and interesting as you could ever want.
Here’s a little tour of the main highlights that I put together in 2016:
And if you’re feeling fancy here’s what it’s like to be all boujee and swim in the infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands!
How long will Singapore Airlines have the title?
I imagine Singapore will carry the title for a couple of years at most. While there are longer possible flights, the two flights everyone always talks about are Sydney/New York (9950 miles) and Sydney/London (10573 miles). Those flights are not feasible with the aircraft that exist right now but will be possible as soon as 2022.
If you think 18 hours and 45 minutes from Singapore to Newark is crazy, what about hopping on a nonstop from Sydney to London, which would hypothetically take just over 21 hours! Almost makes the Singapore-Newark flight not seem so bad!
Are you excited about the new longest flight in the world? Did you fly it on the A340 before? Tell me in the comments below!