Clocking in at 9,500 miles and up to 19 hours of flight time, Singapore Airlines is launching the world’s longest flight in October: A non-stop route from Newark (EWR) to Singapore (SIN).
This is actually a restart rather than a fresh start for the EWR-SIN route, as Singapore previously flew the same route but shut it down in 2013. Singapore takes delivery of a brand new, ultra-fuel-efficient plane this summer that makes this journey feasible again.
When it takes flight Oct. 11, this EWR-SIN route will take the crown as the world’s longest flight. A title it previously held. It beats out the current #1, Qatar Airways’ flight from Qatar (DOH) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL), by almost 500 miles.
The Skinny on the World’s Longest Flight
The writing for this mammoth, 18-plus hour flight has been on the wall for years. With a new, fuel-efficient plane on the horizon, Singapore announced way back in 2015 it would resume nonstop service to both Newark and Los Angeles (LAX) sometime in 2018 or 2019.
Now there’s a date. Flights between EWR and SIN will begin Oct. 11, starting with 3x weekly departures from both. Daily service will begin Oct. 18, after Singapore gets the second airplane on the route. Tickets for the world’s next longest flight will go on sale starting Thursday.
Singapore is expected to resume non-stop service to LAX later this year as well. The airline already has several flights in and out of LAX, but those involve layovers in Seoul-Incheon (ICN) or Tokyo-Narita (NRT). United already flies nonstop between SIN-LAX, a flight it launched last fall.
Meanwhile, Singapore is still teasing about its plans to add a third nonstop destination in North America. Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) and Vancouver (YVR) are two frontrunners. All of these flights will be enormous, but this EWR-SIN takes the cake as the longest flight in the world. Here’s what that list will look like once Singapore joins the fight.
- SIN-EWR – Singapore Airlines – 9,534 miles – 18 hours 45 minutes
- DOH-AKL – Qatar Airways – 9,032 miles – 18 hours
- Perth, Australia (PER) – London-Heathrow (LHR) – Qantas – 9,010 miles – 17 hours 30 minutes
- Dubai (DXB)-AKL – Emirates – 8,824 miles – 17 hours 10 minutes
- LAX-SIN – United Airlines – 8,770miles – 17 hours
As we mentioned, Singapore previously ran this route from 2004 to 2013. That was with a four-engine Airbus A340-500, which guzzled gas at a time the airline industry couldn’t afford the high fuel prices. Now things have changed.
Say hello to the Airbus A350-900ULR. The ULR stands for ultra-long range, and that’s not hyperbole. With a range of more than 11,000 miles, this is really the only plane on the market that can make the trip from Newark to Singapore non-stop. It’s a spin on the comfortable A350s already in service.
If you’re looking for a cheap ticket to Singapore, you’re out of luck as these planes won’t have economy seats. And seeing as you’ll spend almost 19 hours in the air, that may be a good thing. Instead, Singapore will have 67 business class seats and 94 premium economy seats. That’s similar to the premium-heavy configuration that the airline once flew on these grueling flights.
Singapore’s business class is among the best in the world, combining chic and spacious seats with the unbeatable service that makes Singapore one of the top-ranked airlines in the world. They’ll outfit these planes with the same business product on board the standard A350s that fly out of San Francisco and Houston currently.
Singapore’s premium economy is top-notch as well, and well worth considering if you have some cash to spare but don’t want to splurge on a business class ticket. Pricing for the flight remains unclear, as does award availability. Singapore has traditionally been stingy with releasing saver-level award space on new routes. A business class seat from the East Coast starts at 92,000 Singapore miles, while premium economy is available for 70,000 miles.
As a reminder, Singapore is a transfer partner of all bank points as well as Starwood Preferred Guest, making Singapore KrisFlyer miles among the easiest to accumulate.
While 19 hours in a metal tube may not sound like your idea of fun, it’s an exciting time in the airline industry. More fuel-efficient planes are helping travelers travel farther, faster and cheaper. Above all, Singapore is one of the best airlines in the world. Any new routes to and from the U.S. are welcome news to us.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.