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Singapore Airlines A350-900ULR

Airlines target ultra-long range routes

Singapore Airlines is to launch the world’s longest commercial flights later this year with ULR aircraft.

Singapore Airlines says it will launch the world’s longest commercial route this October, a non-stop journey of nearly 19 hours between Singapore and the New York area.

The flight to Newark, New Jersey, will notch up 8,277 nautical miles (15,329 kilometres), Reuters reports, with 161 business and premium economy seats. Direct Singapore-Los Angeles flights may follow later.

The Newark route outshines Qatar Airways’ 7,843 nautical miles on its Doha-Auckland route, which is currently the world’s longest, according to airline data specialists OAG.

Empowered by new ultra-long range aircraft, airlines like SIA, Qantas and United Continental are adding extra-stretched routes to their networks that can make a fare premium of around 20% against journeys that have at least one stop.

Even longer
Singapore Airlines has operated these marathon flights before, until 2013 when high fuel prices made the use of four-engine Airbus A340s uneconomical. Since then it has flown to New York via Frankfurt.

SIA is the launch customer for Airbus’ new A350-900ULR. It should receive the first one in September and all seven it has on order by the end of 2018.

It is an aircraft type Qantas is also considering for its own direct flights between Sydney and London from 2022 – an even longer 9,200 nautical mile trip.

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