Long haul: the shortest route between New York JFK and Singapore
Long haul: the shortest route between New York JFK and Singapore

World’s longest flight to launch between Singapore and New York

‘All passengers are required to keep their masks on throughout the flight when they are not eating or drinking,' Singapore Airlines insists

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Tuesday 20 October 2020 13:32
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A midnight feast in Singapore, breakfast over Siberia, lunch over Greenland and breakfast once more before the final approach to New York: that is what awaits passengers booked on the world’s longest scheduled passenger flight.

Singapore Airlines flight 24 is to take off from the city-state on 9 November, destination New York JFK.

The trip is scheduled to cover the 9,537 miles between the two airports in 18 hours and five minutes. 

The most direct route heads almost due north from Singapore, crossing Cambodia and over the Chinese city of Chengdu, bisecting Mongolia and Siberia towards the Arctic.

The second part of the journey clips Greenland and crosses Iqaluit in Baffin Island – a frequent diversion airport for long-haul flights.

The Airbus A350-900 departs Singapore in the early hours of the morning, three days a week, and arrives at 7.30am local time. In the reverse direction, it will take 35 minutes longer due to the prevailing winds.

The International Date Line means that passengers from New York will lose a day along the way – departing from JFK at 10.30pm on Monday, and arriving in Singapore at 6.10am on Wednesday.

The plane is kitted out with 42 business, 24 premium economy and 187 economy class seats.

A one-way economy ticket costs S$1,753 (£1,000), with premium economy 67 per cent more expensive. In business class, the fare is S$5,600 (£3,195).

Whatever the class, “all passengers are required to keep their masks on throughout the flight when they are not eating or drinking,” the airline stipulates. 

Lee Lik Hsin, executive vice-president commercial for Singapore Airlines, said: “Nonstop ultra-long services are the bedrock of our services to the key US market.

“Despite the challenging times for the airline industry, there are some early signs of optimism about a recovery in air travel. Our customers say that they are increasingly confident about air travel.

“We will continue to ramp up existing services and reinstate other points as the demand for both passenger and cargo services return.”

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Singapore Airlines has previously flown nonstop to New York City, but served Newark airport – three miles closer to the South East Asian city state. The link was suspended at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement coincided with the departure of a Qantas Boeing 787 from Perth in Western Australia to London Heathrow – in normal times the longest route to and from the UK. The jet will return nonstop from Heathrow to Darwin in the Northern Territory with Australian citizens on board – a distance of 8,608 miles.

The passengers will then need to quarantine at a former military base near Darwin for two weeks.

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