The new Airbus A350-900ULR for Singapore Airlines has rolled out of the paintshop at the factory. Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for this aircraft.
These aircraft are slated to begin flying in October on the Singapore to New York Newark route. This is 15,344 kilometres (9,534 miles) and will become the world’s longest flight at 19 hours in the air.
Since the aircraft will be operating such long flights, there is no economy class on board. There will be just 161 seats, comprising of 67 business class and 94 premium economy seats.
For flights of this duration it makes sense that passenger comfort would be paramount. I also guess that a premium heavy configuration is needed to make sure the airline is profitable on the route.
Singapore to New York Newark Schedule
Services commence on 11 October, with SQ22 departing Singapore at 11:35pm and arriving in New York at 06:00 the next day. The return flight is SQ21, departing New York Newark at 10:45am and arriving at 5:30pm the next day.
Who Else Will Fly This Far?
Airbus and Boeing are both currently working on what is called Project Sunrise with Qantas. The aim is to develop an aircraft that can fly from Sydney and Melbourne in Australia to London and New York non-stop.
These are 17,016 kilometres (10,573 miles) and 16,013 kilometres (9,950 miles) respectively. If Airbus or Boeing can tweak their longest range aircraft to do this with a viable payload, we will have some new longest flights to try.
Flying a very long distance on new aircraft such as the Airbus A350-900ULR is no big deal. The lower cabin pressure makes for a more comfortable journey and with just business class and premium economy offered, it is even better.
What’s the longest duration you’ve been on board an aircraft? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
All images by Airbus.