Daily Maverick

Singapore Airlines to launch world’s longest flight

Singapore Airlines said on Wednesday that it will relaunch the world's longest commercial flight in October, a journey of almost 19 hours from the city-state to New York, but it will not be available to economy travellers. 

The daily, non-stop journey from Changi to Newark Airport will cover about 16,700 kilometres (10,300 miles) and take about 18 hours 45 minutes, the airline said in a statement.

The current record holder is Qatar Airways Flight 921 from Auckland to Doha, which takes 17 hours 40 minutes.

The Singapore Airlines flight will use the long-range Airbus A350-900ULR, which will be configured to carry 161 passengers — 67 in business class and 94 in premium economy.

The airline had flown a similar route from 2004 until 2013 but cancelled it as it fell short of revenue expectations. However, its latest decision comes as carriers look for new sources of revenue in a competitive environment, while long-haul flights often make more cash than those that require stops.

There are also plans for a non-stop route from Singapore to Los Angeles using the same plane, the airline said.

The new route comes as the city-state’s flag carrier faces tough challenges.

Last year, it consolidated its low-cost units TigerAir and Scoot into a single entity in a streamlining exercise.

And this month it said it will absorb its struggling premium regional wing, SilkAir, into the broader group following a multi-million-dollar upgrade as part of reforms to stay competitive.  DM

Speculation about Cabinet posts obscures SA’s Achilles Heel — Eskom, which has just received another R12.5bn
By Marianne Merten
End of the road for the Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party? And what future for Numsa?
By Stephen Grootes
US-China trade row: SA should hold course on agriculture exports
By Wandile Sihlobo
Human rights continue to worsen in Tanzania as Magufuli cracks down on critics
By Tundu AM Lissu
The Christchurch Call could potentially be used to clamp down on legitimate political dissent in Africa
By Anri Van Der Spuy
You know it’s bad when…
By Zapiro
South Africans feared to be among those injured in Egypt tourist bus bomb explosion
By Reuters and News24
The Presidency: Either Ramaphosa’s poisoned chalice or a chance for greatness
By Ali Bahati Juma
Ep. 195: Evita on how to swop Presidents (Video)
By Pieter-Dirk Uys
Is Abraham Lincoln’s Team of Rivals a model for South Africa?
By J Brooks Spector