Singapore Airlines will bring back its nonstop
Newark-Singapore service on Oct. 12 after a five-year hiatus, once again making
the route the longest flown by any airline.
At 9,534 miles, the 18-hour, 45-minute flight will top Qatar
Airways' 9,032-mile Auckland to Doha service.
In resuming the route, Singapore will be the first airline
to fly the new Airbus A350 variant, the A350-900ULR, which it ordered in 2015
with nonstop flights to Newark and Los Angeles in mind. The ULR, short for ultra-long
range, has 17% more fuel capacity than the A350-900, giving it a range of up to
10,000 miles as compared to the 900's range of approximately 9,000 miles.
Singapore will gear the Newark flight to business travelers,
configuring the plane with just 161 seats divided between business and premium
economy cabins. The A350-900s currently used by the carrier also have a coach
cabin and are equipped with 253 seats.
Airline spokesman James Boyd said that all seven of the
350ULRs that Singapore has on order will operate with that two-class
configuration, forsaking an economy class.
"Our goal is to balance economics with providing the
most comfortable service that we can, and we feel that we reach that balance
with the two-class configuration on the ultra-long-haul flights," he said.
Singapore will also use the 950ULR when it resumes nonstop
Los Angeles service, Boyd said. A date for that launch has not been
When it halted nonstop Newark and Los Angeles flights in
2013, Singapore was operating those routes with four-engine Airbus A340s
outfitted in all business class. The carrier canceled the routes, in large
part, due to the A340's relative fuel inefficiency when oil was more than $100
per barrel. Only two engines power a350s.
Singapore will fly the Newark route three times during the
route's first week then switch to a daily schedule when its second 350ULR goes
into service on Oct. 19.
The carrier currently serves the New York area on one-stop
service via Frankfurt to Kennedy Airport and flies to Los Angeles daily on
one-stop routes through Seoul and Tokyo. At present, the airline's lone nonstop
U.S. service flies daily to and from San Francisco.