World’s longest non-stop flight arrives in US from Singapore
Flight SQ22 departed at 15:37GMT (11.35pm local time) with 150 passengers and 17 crew members on board. The scheduled 19-hour flight landed 17 hours and 25 minutes later in the US.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has re-launched the service for the first time in five years as the flight was originally too expensive. It said there was demand for non-stop services which help cut traveling times compared with flights that have a stopover.
Shortly before take-off, SIA posted online: “Counting down to the launch of our non-stop flight to New York on the Airbus A350 Ultra Long Range!”
The airline has no plans to offer any economy bookings on the route. It told the BBC that there were only 67 business-class seats and 94 premium economy on the Airbus A350-900 ULR.
A business-class ticket entitles passengers to two meals. They can choose when they are served and refreshments in between. The passengers will also have a bed to sleep in.
Premium-economy tickets envisage three meals at fixed times, with refreshments in between.
The SQ22 flight will top Qantas’ 17-hour non-stop service from Perth to London, which was launched earlier this year, and Qatar’s 17.5-hour service between Auckland and Doha.
“It’s turning out to be a race between a few airlines eyeing the longest routes inter-continentally,” Shukor Yusof of aviation consultancy Endau Analytics told the AFP.
“They are hoping to capitalize and exploit a very niche market,” he said.
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