Singapore Airlines is relaunching non-stop flights between Singapore and Newark, NJ, starting October 11, 2018. They will be the longest flights in the world at almost 19 hours, utilizing Airbus new A350 Ultra Long Range (ULR) planes. The new A350 will be configured in a two-class layout with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy seats. Tickets are on sale now.
Singapore Airlines used to serve the non-stop route between Singapore and New York with Airbus A340, but due to the high fuel prices, gave up the non-stop flights in 2013. Now, it’s giving it another shot with the much more efficient Airbus A350ULR. The planes are slightly modified over the standard model, allowing it to carry more fuel to cover the distance of 9,000nm!
The route will initially be served three times a week, departing Singapore Monday, Thursday and Saturday, before going to a daily service on October 18, 2018. Singapore Airlines has a total of 7 A350ULR on order and will utilize them to also launch non-stop flights to Los Angeles, the second longest route on the market!
Despite the long range of the A350ULR, Singapore Airlines is installing only two cabins, Business Class with fully-flat seats and Premium Economy, with more width, legroom and recline than regular economy. While this probably is mostly due to weight restrictions for the flight, I welcome the decision – I couldn’t imagine spending 19h in an economy seat!
The flights can be expected to be popular with business travelers, trying to save time on trips between the East Coast and Asia. In the past, the flights carried a significant price premium over connecting itineraries. A search of the current launch prices is in line with previous one-stop SQ itineraries and other premium airlines: Business Class costs around $5,200 for a round-trip ticket in November and Premium Economy approx. $1,600.
My longest flight ever was on Thai Airways A340 from Bangkok to Los Angeles. Despite flying in Business Class with a flat bed seat and the wonderful service of Thai Airways, that was a very long flight and I was happy to get out. Even with a full night of sleep, you still have a lot of hours to kill with movies, reading or working. I personally might opt for a connection with a chance to stretch my legs and take a shower, but when time is money, this is a great new option and I wish Singapore Airlines good luck with it!