World's longest non-stop flight from Singapore to New York takes off for first time TODAY
A record-breaking non-stop flight sets off for its maiden voyage today on the new Singapore to New York route.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) is re-launching the service for the first time in five years as the flight was originally too expensive.
The airline will be able to take passengers from Singapore to New York in 19 hours. The flight takes off at 11.35pm Singapore time (4.35pm UK time).
The long-haul flight covers 15,000km (9,300 miles) and travels between Changi Airport in Singapore to the Newark International airport in New Jersey, near New York.
Airline bosses said there was barely a seat to spare as they find generally when a stop-over service is replaced with non-stop, their ticket sales go up three-fold.
Qantas launched a 17-hour non-stop service from Perth to London earlier this year, while Qatar runs a 17.5-hour service between Auckland and Doha.
SIA told the BBC there were only 67 business-class seats and 94 premium economy on the luxury Airbus A350-900 ULR but no standard class available.
The flight has overtaken the 17-hour Qantas route from Perth to London as the longest in the world.
Business class seating on Singapore Airline's new A350-900 ULR - the flight will not offer any economy seating.
SIA reportedly purchased seven of the planes, which were designed to replace Boeing's older 777 series and use between 20 and 30 per cent less fuel, the airline said.
The company abandoned its marathon Newark and Los Angeles routes in 2013 when high fuel prices made the use of the four-engine Airbus A340-500 jets uneconomic.
Corrine Png, chief of transport research firm Crucial Perspective, said: âOperating trans-Pacific connecting flights opened Singapore Airlines to a lot more competition from other carriers and resulted in the loss of high-yielding business traffic.
âWe expect Singapore Airlines to regain market share, especially in the premium travel market.âSource: Google News Singapore | Netizen 24 Singapore