SIA stops operating world’s longest nonstop flight
The world’s longest nonstop commercial flight ended after nearly nineyears in late November after Singapore Airlines (SIA) flew its last nearly 19-hour service between Singapore and New York.
January 20, 2014
The world’s longest nonstop commercial flight ended after nearly nineyears in late November after Singapore Airlines (SIA) flew its last nearly 19-hour service between Singapore and New York. Analysts said the rise in fuel prices since 2004, when the 15,335km service was launched to cater to business travellers, made it economically unsustainable. Five A340-500s used by SIA for the service to New York – through neighbouring Newark – are being swapped for larger A380s, which while more fuel-efficient are not designed for such distances.
The 100-seat, all business-class service to New York was pricey but passengers flew in comfort and saved hours of travel time by not having to make stopovers. “Ultra long-range routes have proven to be uneconomical, making it unlikely there will be a return of flights over 17 hours, which can only be flown by the niche A340-500 or B777-200LR,” the Sydney-based Centre for Aviation said in a commentary in September. Following the withdrawal of the two direct US services – the other being Los Angeles – by SIA, three routes will share the distinction of being the longest in terms of duration – Dubai-Houston, Dubai-Los Angeles and Johannesburg-Atlanta – at 16 hours and 20 minutes, the centre said. In terms of distance, a Qantas flight from Sydney to Dallas will be the longest, but tailwinds enable it to be completed in 15 hours and 20 minutes, it added.