11 Oct 2018: World's longest non-stop flight to take off today: Details here
The world's longest flight from Singapore to New York is all set to take off on Thursday, marking the re-launch of Singapore Airlines' marathon flight service five years after they discontinued it.
Here are the details.
Details: The flight will cover 15,341km in just under 19 hours
The flight from Singapore's Changi Airport to New Jersey's Newark International Airport will cover a distance of about 15,341km using the North Pacific route in just under 19 hours.
For comparison, Qantas' current longest flight is a 17-hour non-stop flight from Perth to London, while Qatar Airways' longest is a 17.5-hour non-stop flight from Auckland and Doha.
Aircraft: Singapore airlines will use a custom Airbus A350-900 ULR aircraft
The flight will use Airbus' A350-900 ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft that has been configured to seat a total of 161 passengers - 67 business passengers and 94 premium economy passengers.
Business passengers are entitled two meals, choice in time of service, refreshments between meals, and a bed.
Premium economy passengers get three meals at fixed times and refreshments in between.
Notably, there's no economy class.
Fact: The flight is being touted as a premium product
"The thinking behind that is that they are selling a premium product...This is a route between two massive financial hubs, and so they will fill this plane up with business people, or well-heeled travellers," said Geoffrey Thomas, the editor-in-chief of airlines rating site Airlineratings.com.
Long-haul flights: The new Airbus aircraft enables efficient ultra-long-distance flights
It should be noted here that the increasing use of the new Airbus A350-900s for long-haul flight could usher in an era of non-stop ultra-long-distance flights.
The new Airbus planes are designed to replace the older Boeing 777s used for long-haul flights, and are more efficient insofar that they consume somewhere between 20%-30% less fuel than the older Boeings.
Gains: Airlines stand to gain a lot from non-stop ultra-long-distance flights
The technological ability apart, airlines also stand to gain much from non-stop, ultra-long distance flights.
Statistics already show that when a new non-stop route is introduced, traffic on that route increases three-fold.
Given this reality, and the fact that airlines will mostly offer these non-stop, ultra-long-distance to business passengers and individuals with purchasing power, they stand to make significant monetary gains.
Fact: Non-stop, ultra-long-distance routes are money making routes
"Qantas' flight from Perth to London is seeing a load factor in economy of 92% - and in premium it's 94%. So from an airline perspective, these routes are money-making. We really are entering a new era of travel," explained Thomas.