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Airline Looks to Reclaim “World’s Longest Flight” With 19-Hour Service Between U.S. & Singapore

Airline Looks to Reclaim “World’s Longest Flight” With 19-Hour Service Between U.S. & Singapore
Joe Cortez

Singapore Airlines is working with manufacturers in hopes of renewing direct flights between Singapore and the U.S. — the world’s longest.

After ending direct flights between Singapore and the U.S. two years ago, Singapore Airlines is looking to resume the 19-hour nonstop service. Bloomberg reports the island country’s flag carrier is working with Airbus and Boeing to develop an aircraft capable of flying direct routes between U.S. cities and Singapore.

According to airline executives, Singapore Airlines is looking to restore direct flights for a number of reasons. In addition to business advantages, the carrier is currently struggling to find nations that will allow them to fly between Singapore and the U.S.

“There is lack of viable intermediate points,” said Goh Choon Phong, chief executive of Singapore Airlines. “That’s largely because the countries concerned are not really giving us the rights to operate what we call the fifth freedom from those points to the U.S.”

Singapore Airlines now hopes to identify an aircraft that could fly the 19-hour journey between the two countries nonstop. At shortest, the route between Los Angeles and Singapore is over 7,500 nautical miles; at longest, the route between Newark and Singapore is over 9,000 nautical miles.

Today, there is a limited number of aircraft capable of fly the nonstop route. The Airbus A380 has a reported range of 8,200 nautical miles, while the Boeing 747-8 has a reported range of around 7,790 nautical miles. Therefore, the carrier is working with both manufacturers to develop an aircraft with new technology that could fly the required distances.

“We, of course, want it as soon as possible,” Goh told Bloomberg. “There isn’t really a commercially viable aircraft that could fly nonstop.”

Previously, Singapore Airlines operated Airbus A340 aircraft on nonstop flights between the Asian city-state and the U.S. However, experts claim the route was unprofitable due to the high cost of operating the aircraft. Goh did not specify which U.S. cities the airline would offer service to first.

[Photo: Bloomberg]

View Comments (13)


  1. cestmoi123

    June 23, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I once took that EWR-SIN nonstop. Great flight. All business class, and was only about half full when I went. Have dinner, watch a couple movies, have a good night’s sleep, have breakfast, read a bit, take a nap, and you’re there. You left late in the evening (9 or 10PM) and arrived at about 6AM into SIN, so it was like a REALLY long night. Longest takeoff roll I think I’ve ever experienced, though. They didn’t quite have gas cans stacked in the aisles, but pretty close.

  2. Nomad98

    June 23, 2015 at 9:53 am

    The flight from DFW-HKG is well over 8100 miles and it flies non stop..what is new here?

  3. sdsearch

    June 23, 2015 at 10:01 am

    “Singapore Airlines now hopes to identify an aircraft that could fly the 19-hour journey between the two countries nonstop.”

    This is a poor rephrasing. The original article doesn’t say that, it says it’s looking to find an aircraft that could fly between the countries PROFITABLY. (It mentions that an A340 already can fly that distance and has flown that distance before, but not profitably.)

    Obviously, if it wanted to fly to anywhere in the US at all, it could just fly to Hawaii right now with existing aircraft. But it doesn’t feel it can make a profit flying to Hawaii presumably, so that’s why it’s looking to fly FURTHER INTO the US nonstop.

  4. SF1K

    June 23, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I wish SQ would consider SIN-HNL-SFO/LAX/ORD/Anywhere US. Of course they would have to negotiate with the US to allow 5th Freedom on the HNL to Mainland US, but that would be awesome!

  5. bhrubin

    June 23, 2015 at 10:37 am

    The A380 and 789 both are capable of flying the SIN-LAX route…and also beginning a new SIN-SFO route which is even shorter (7200 nm). With SFO being a UA fortress hub, SQ could easily serve its customer base from SIN for any destinations in the USA with the single SFO (or LAX) connection. Presumably, both LAX and SFO would allow profitable SIN routes, especially with 2 or 3 classes of service.

    It will require new metal to reach EWR profitably. But since I live on the West Coast near LAX, that doesn’t concern me as much!

  6. Musicholic

    June 23, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Doesn’t the 777-200LR already let you do a 9300mile flight? That’s not quite SIN – EWR, but you could do SIN-LAX. Is it because 777 ETOPS can’t fly that far over the Pacific?

  7. JohnnyRockets

    June 23, 2015 at 11:15 am

    What SQ claims they are looking for = A340-500 or 777-200LR range

    What SQ is actually looking ultra-long range 777-300 size with no weight restriction flying with 737 fuel economy.

    If SQ can fill the 100 seat all the time, I think they can still make profit unlike TG, even with 100% load they are still loosing money.
    And SQ should have flown to JFK not EWR when TG dropped its own service.

  8. jmw2323

    June 23, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    some of you are mixing up miles with nautical miles. While DFW-HKG is 8100 miles, it is 7,058 nautical miles.
    Current longest non-stop is DFW-SYD 7454 nm, or 8578 miles

  9. starflyer

    June 23, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    What aircraft used to fly EWR-SIN? Why doesn’t the article mention that?

  10. shaown

    June 23, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Airbus 340-500

  11. RolandLondon

    June 24, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Is there not a limit where the fuel cost of carrying the fuel itself becomes uneconomic?

    The military have been doing it for years, is it so crazy to suggest inflight refuelling for commercial aircraft?!

  12. davidviolin

    June 24, 2015 at 11:38 am

    What they need is are a couple of777-200LR – and at this point Boeing is desperate to keep supply chain of the 777 going so SQ could get a great deal on those.

  13. PaulMCO


    June 25, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    777-200 LR still does not meet the bill. If you configure them to fly to EWR direct you lose passenger or cargo. That is why the A340 was not profitable.

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