Countdown on for world's longest non-stop flight

Ivan Schwartz
October 14, 2018

The journey covers a distance of 16,700 kilometres in just under 19 hours, making it the record holder in both distance and time. The plane will feature no economy class, with just 67 business class and 94 premium economy class seats.

The route uses the fuel-efficient ultra-long range variant of Airbus' A350-900, a category of plane that airlines are increasingly turning to as they look to squeeze more miles out of every drop of pricey fuel.

"Now that you asked me, I'm a little bit anxious".

A spokeswoman for Singapore Airlines told AFP that Flight SQ22 departed at approximately 11:35 p.m. (1535 GMT) with 150 passengers and 17 crew on board. That made for a flight of 17 hours and 52 minutes. "I'm lucky because I'm able to sleep on the plane".

The world's longest flight is taking travelers from Singapore to NY.

Customers also have greater control over their in-flight entertainment (IFE) experience with myKrisWorld - a world-first IFE personalisation offering that provides content recommendations based on customer preferences and viewing history.

The other long-haul flights that are now in operation are: Perth to London (17-hour non-stop) thanks to Qantas launched earlier in the year and Auckland to Doha (17.5 hours) by Qatar Airways. "I love to fly!"

They have higher ceilings, larger windows and lighting created to reduce jetlag - all good things for busy business travellers.

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"The biggest concern is Deep Vein Thrombosis from a combination of sitting for too long and also from dehydration", said Gail Cross, an associate consultant at the National University Hospital in Singapore.

Singapore Airlines now has 21 A350-900s in its fleet, with 46 more on order including seven of the ULR variant.

Campbell Wilson, its senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the Airbus A350-900ULR, which was delivered two weeks ago, consumes 25% less fuel than an older generation aircraft of the same size.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has re-launched the service for the first time in five years after it was abandoned due to rising fuel prices.

While reviving the flight, the airline took a number of measures to make it operationally efficient and comfortable.

On the Singapore Airlines website, one-way premium economy tickets were going for close to 3,000 Singapore dollars (€1,900, $2,200) and business for 7,900 Singapore dollars.

Tilo Kruger was boarding the flight with three friends - all members of the "first to fly" club, which was formed after the inaugural Airbus A380 flew from Singapore to Sydney in 2007.

Mr Thomas says it's been proven over and over again that people want to fly non-stop, "so these sorts of aeroplanes are set to gain terrific momentum".

Other reports by GizPress

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