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Could the World's Longest Flight Return?June 24, 2015 By: Newswire
The world's longest commercial flight, which once connected Newark Liberty International Airport near New York and Changi Airport in Singapore, could be revived by Singapore Airlines.
According to a recent announcement by the airline, it is in talks with Airbus and Boeing to revive the 19 hour flight. When it was offered, the 9,000 nautical mile direct flight was the longest commercial flight in the world. The carrier discontinued its nonstop service between Singapore and New York back in 2013 because it was not profitable, the airline said. After this change, the trip became five hours longer for passengers. Currently, a stopover in Frankfurt is required for passengers flying between the two cities.
The original 19-hour flight first took off in June 2004 with 181 business and economy class seats on the A340 aircraft. In 2008, it was converted to an all business class configuration, reducing its passenger limit to 100. With the rising cost of fuel, continuing to fly the ultra long haul flight proved to be uneconomical, Singapore Airlines said. The plane burned a lot of fuel, but carried too few passengers. Richard Aboulafia, an analyst at aerospace consultant Teal Group, said that using a twin-engine plane would be more economical as they are made for the long haul. The A340 had four engines, and was too costly to sustain the nonstop route.