Thursday, November 26, 2020

World’s longest flight soon to take off again and it’s even longer now

'Operating these flights between Singapore and New York’s JFK represents an important step in the rebuilding of our global network.'

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The world’s longest flight record-holder Singapore Airlines will resume flying nonstop to the US east coast from Nov 9, but this time flying into New York’s JFK, nudging the distance record up by 4km.

The airline’s previous record-breaking flight, Singapore to Newark, New Jersey, was put on hold in March, an early victim of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Business Traveller.

That flight was a world record breaker at 15,343km. The switch to JFK will push that to 15,347km. The flight to JFK will take 18 hours and 5 minutes, while JFK to Singapore will take 35 minutes more, due to headwinds.

The flight will run three times a week, using an Airbus A350-900 with economy, premium economy and business class. Crew will wear goggles, gloves and masks, and passengers will be required to wear masks while not eating and drinking. Passengers to Changi will arrive two days after leaving JFK, thanks to the late evening take off, and early morning landing.

It is not clear at this stage whether SIA sees this as a long-term switch of airports for the route but Singapore Airlines announced in a statement that the change of airport will allow SIA to “better accommodate a mix of passenger and cargo in the current operating climate”.

Passenger numbers will be down due to international restrictions but the airline anticipates “significant cargo demand from a range of industries based in the New York metro area, including pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and technology firms, with the service being the only nonstop air cargo link between Singapore and the Northeast US”.

The airline said the route would also be supported “by the growing number of transfer passengers who can now transit via Singapore’s Changi Airport”.

Lee Lik Hsin, executive vice-president of Singapore Airlines, said: “Operating these flights between Singapore and New York’s JFK International Airport represents an important step in the rebuilding of our global network.

“Despite the challenging times for the airline industry, there are some early signs of optimism about a recovery. Our customers say that they are increasingly confident about air travel, given the health and safety measures in place, as well as testing regimes to protect them and our staff.”

Singapore Airlines has continued its nonstop flights from Changi airport to Los Angeles throughout the pandemic.

 

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