Passengers can fly direct from Singapore to NYC from this week â" but not economy travellers
News.com.au entertainment writer Andrew Bucklow takes you on a point of view journey through a Qantas flight in first class.
Somethingâs noticeably missing on Singapore Airlinesâ Singapore-New York flights. Picture: Seat GuruSource:Supplied
A WHOPPING 18 hour, 45 minute marathon flight from Singapore to New York is almost ready for takeoff. But somethingâs missing.
Singapore Airlines will launch the service on Thursday, when it officially replaces Qatar Airwaysâ Doha-Auckland route as the worldâs longest commercial flight.
And for anyone cringing at the idea spending of 19 long hours in a cramped seat â" in a bold omission, there will be no economy seats on the flight, with only premium economy and business class seats available to passengers.
The 16,700km route between Singaporeâs Changi airport and Newark Liberty Airport will be serviced by new Airbus A350-900 ULR (âultra long rangeâ) aircraft.
Newark Liberty Airport, in New Jersey, is a half-hour drive from Manhattan.
The Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 will fly passengers direct from Singapore to New York. Picture: AFP/Roslan RahmanSource:AFP
There will be 94 seats in premium economy â" a class between economy and busines s class â" and 67 business class seats.
âThe two-class configuration â¦ was a business consideration to meet market demand,â Singapore Airlines told AFP about the lack of economy seats.
âThis configuration will also provide our customers with greater comfort on non-stop flights.â
Brendan Sobie, chief analyst at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, told AFP the move was about the airline âmarketing themselves as a premium service providerâ.
The premium economy seats will be configured in a mostly 2-4-2 layout at the back, while the luxe business class seats will be in a 1-2-1 configuration.
And premium economy will be the new cattle class. Picture: Seat GuruSource:Supplied
Some of the business class seats. Picture: Seat GuruSource:Supplied
The menu is also fancy. It includes a âwellnessâ set menu featuring prawn ceviche, organic chicken and zucchini pappardelle and other dishes that have been developed to promote hydration, nutrition and circulation mid-flight. (Passengers who are feeling really fancy can pre-order lobster thermidor or rib-eye steak up to 24 hours before the flight.)
Singapore Airlines previously flew the Singapore to New York route on A340 aircraft which also didnât have an economy class on board. That service was scrapped in 2013 as rising fuel costs made the route unprofitable.
But new, fuel-efficient ultra long range aircraft, such as the A350-900 ULR and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, has created new possibilities for ultra-long-haul routes.
Singapore Airlines ordered seven ultra-long-range A350s and took delivery of the first last mo nth.
Business class seat on Singapore Airlines' A350 aircraft. Picture: Singapore AirlinesSource:Supplied
The airline will operate the Singapore-New York flight three times a week.
Qatar Airwaysâ Doha to Auckland route, which is a whopping 14,529km long, will now be the worldâs second-longest flight.
That moves Qantasâ new Perth to London route, which flies 14,529km non-stop, into third place.
That route was launched in March, with news.com.au among the first to experience its on-board perks.
There are other ultra-long-range flights that fly direct from Australia â" United Airlinesâ 13,833km flight from Sydney to Houston, and Qantasâ 13,837km flight from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth.
WORLDâS LONGEST FLIGHTS (FROM THURSDAY)
1. Singapore-New York, Singapore Airlines â" 16,700km
2. Doha-Auckland, Qatar Airways â" 14,529km
3. London-Perth, Qantas â" 14,496km
4. Dubai-Auckland, Emirates â" 14,200km
5. Los Angeles-Singapore, United Airlines â" 14,113km
6. Sydney-Houston, United Airlines â" 13,833km
7. Sydney-Dallas, Qantas â" 13,837km
8. San Francisco-Singapore, United Airlines/Singapore Airlines â" 13,592km
9. Atlanta-Johannesburg, Delta â" 13,581km
10. Abu Dhabi-Los Angeles, Etihad â" 13,502kmSource: Google News Singapore | Netizen 24 Singapore