You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

We're One Step Closer to a New World's Longest Flight

Condé Nast Traveler logo Condé Nast Traveler 4/25/2018 Meredith Carey
a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky © Courtesy Airbus

Singapore Airlines, which plans to restart its 19-hour non-stops to New York later this year, just hit a major milestone for bringing back the record-setting flights. The airline just completed its first test of the cutting-edge Airbus A350-900ULR, a new variant of the jet lag–busting A350 that can fly up to 11,160 miles—20 hours!—without refueling. The test flight, to and from an assembly plant in Toulouse, France on Monday, was a relatively brief 5 hours and 44 minutes. So while Qantas currently holds the crown for the world's longest flight—its Perth-to-London trip is 17 hours long—the Aussies are now officially on notice.

As for Singapore, a nearly six-hour test flight is one thing, but spending 19 hours aloft? We're pacing the aisles with cabin fever already. But the carrier says this new A350-900ULR plane will make the nearly day-long flight, the longest in the world by at least two hours, more bearable. This model, like Airbus's other A350 planes, fights jet lag as you fly, with a lighting system that mimics the daylight at your destination to get you prepped for the time change and "an air management system that renews the air every two minutes while helping regulate cabin temperature," Condé Nast Traveler contributor Cynthia Drescher reported. These particular -900ULRs will also have fewer seats than on typical A350s to lower the overall weight of the aircraft, though Singapore Airlines hasn't announced specifics.

But, fewer seats than the average A350, which can carry up to 325 passengers, probably means more legroom—and probably more business and premium class seats. (When Singapore previously operated a non-stop flight between New York and its home base, the A340-500 aircraft it used for the flight had 64 business class and 117 premium economy seats—and zero economy-class seats; most A340s typically fly with at least 290 passengers.) And who does biz-class service better than Singapore Airlines? Not many. It's the third best airline in the world, according to our readers, thanks to its trifecta of seat comfort, quality in-flight service, and reliability when it comes to getting you where you need to go on time. Singapore Airlines hasn't yet said exactly when the new route will start, but the flights are slated to begin before the end of 2018.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Condé Nast Traveler

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon