Singapore Airlines is to launch the world’s longest commercial flight in October, with non-stop services between Singapore and New York, reclaiming the crown from Qatar Airways and its Doha to Auckland route.

Starting on 11 October 2018, the new route will see Singapore Airlines’ new Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) make the 9,000nm (16,700km) trip between the airline’s Changi Airport base and Newark Liberty International Airport three times per week.  From 18 October, daily operations will commence as an additional A350-900ULR aircraft enters service.

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Singapore Airlines is the world’s first customer to fly the new A350-900ULR, with a total of seven on order from manufacturer Airbus.

The aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

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Time in the air will be up to 18hrs 45min, surpassing Qatar Airways 17-and-a-half-hour service (14,535km) from Doha to Auckland.

Singapore Airlines previously served the Singapore-Newark route until 2013, when services were suspended after the aircraft used at the time, Airbus A340-500s, were returned to Airbus.

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The A350-900ULR offers such features as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body, and lighting designed to reduce jet lag. Its carbon composite airframe also allows for improved air quality due to a more optimised cabin altitude and humidity levels.

Singapore Airlines’ first A350-900ULR is due for delivery in September, with all seven due for delivery by the end of the year.

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Non-stop Singapore-Los Angeles flights are also planned with the A350-900ULR, details of which will be announced at a later date.