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World’s longest flight coming to an end

The world’s longest non-stop commercial flights will stop next year as Singapore Airlines has announced that it will cease its non-stop flight between Singapore and Newark, USA.

The route, at 9,500 miles and 18 hours, is currently the world’s longest unbroken commercial flight.The airline, which made the announcement earlier this week, said it will also end the non-stop route between Singapore and Los Angeles, which is a shorter distance but a longer flight time.

Both routes currently use Airbus A340-500s which will be sold back to Airbus in autumn next year as part of a significant new deal for the airline. The new deal sees the airline order five more Airbus 380s and 20 more A350s to update its current fleet.

The Newark to Singapore route is 18 hours long, however the trip from Singapore to Los Angeles is around 1,5000 miles shorter but takes 18 hours and 30 minutes, as the aircraft is slowed by winds on the Pacific Ocean. It’s been reported that the airline is struggling to make the long-haul routes profitable with rising global fuel costs and the current economic climate making passengers unwilling to pay premium prices.

This has had a major impact on the routes as both flights, which started in 2004, run on an all business-class basis. This is not the only airline to suffer in the current economic climate, the aviation industry as a whole is struggling amongst the global recession.

Scandinavian airline SAS recently announced drastic cost-cutting reforms which will see employees take a 15%-25% pay cut. The airline claims that it cannot cope with the saturated no-frills market and rivals such as Ryanair. Typically a long-haul flight is defined as more than 15 hours. Once the Newark-Singapore route ceases, the world’s longest flight journey will be between Johannesburg and Atlanta, at 17 hours. Travel insurance is highly recommended when travelling overseas.

Date Created: 26 October 2012

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