Singapore Airlines Ltd. will resume nonstop flights to New York in 2018, grabbing the honor of longest commercial flight from Emirates, when it becomes the first owner of Airbus A350-900 ULRs. The flight is 19 hours. "ULR" stands for "ultra long range."
In a statement, Singapore Air said it will be the "launch customer" for the aircraft, converting seven of its 63 orders for A350-900s to the ULR variant, which can fly 8,700 nautical miles. The Singapore to New York flight is about 8,300.
Singapore Air suspended the flight in 2013 when it retired its four-engine A340-500s. It and other carriers cut back on some long-range flights at the time as the effects of the global financial crisis damped demand and oil prices stayed high. Now demand has returned, according to Bloomberg, jet fuel is cheaper and the new two-engine aircraft is more fuel efficient.
“Our customers have been asking us to restart nonstop Singapore-U.S. flights and we are pleased that Airbus was able to offer the right aircraft to do so in a commercially viable manner,” Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong said in the statement.
According to Bloomberg, Emirates, which is owned by the United Arab Emirates, will have the world's longest flight -- Dubai to Panama -- starting February. The current title-holder is Austalia's Quantas Airways Ltd., with a Sydney-Dallas flight.
Singapore Air said it will also resume nonstop flights to Los Angeles while studying other possible U.S. destinations.