Singapore Airlines Axes World's Longest Commercial Flights
Industry leader Singapore Airlines is withdrawing two of the world's longest commercial airline routes - all-Business Class service between New York's Newark Liberty and Singapore and between Los Angeles International Airport and Singapore.
The airline operated the routes using Airbus A340-500, using a 1-2-1 configuration. At distances of 9,525 miles (8,277 nautical miles) and 8,770 miles (7,621 nautical miles), respectively, the routes currently are the longest non-stops offered by any airline in the world.
The daily nonstop from Newark averages about 18 hours via the North Pole, although the flight can last more than 21 hours because of some wind and routing variables. Round-trip fares aboard the 100-seat flights sell for more than $8,000 round trip
The LAX-SIN flight took off for the last time on Oct 21, and the final departure from Newark will be Nov. 23.
“Although disappointing that we will be halting these services, we remain very committed to the US market. Over the past two years we have increased capacity to both Los Angeles and New York by deploying A380 super-jumbos on flights via Tokyo and Frankfurt. We will also continue to explore additional options to enhance our US services,” SIA's CEO Goh Choon Phong said last year about the cessation of non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles and between Singapore and Newark.
Typically, ultra long-haul routes are difficult to achieve profitability. In July 2008, Thai Airways International suspended what was then the longest commercial air route in the world, between Bangkok and New York. "With high fuel costs you just can't make a profit on those long flights," a Thai official told My Savvy Traveller at the time.
Once SIA drops the two routes, the longest in the world will be Qantas' nonstop from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth (about 8,576 miles or 7,452 nautical miles) and Delta's route from Atlanta to Johannesburg (8,434 miles/7,329 nautical miles).