THE WORLD’S LONGEST-DISTANCE commercial flight ended its run after nine years of shuttling passengers from Newark International to Singapore’s Changi Airport.
According to the International Business Times, Singapore Airlines Flight SQ21 lasted 19 hours and covered nearly 10,000 miles. It operated on an Airbus A340 with only 100 seats, all of them business class.
The airline is cancelling the once daily flight because it’s unprofitable, partly due to rising fuel costs.
It’s exchanging those A340 planes for larger A380s, which are not designed to fly as far. Passengers who choose to make the trip with Singapore Airlines will now have a stopover in either London or Frankfurt.
In commentary, the Center for Aviation (CAPA) said the cancellation of two nonstop routes — Singapore-Newark and Singapore-Los Angeles in October — will “result in a 26% business class seat reduction for SIA in the US market.”
Now that it does not offer the nonstop flights, Singapore will “compete head to head against about 20 carriers offering one-stop products in the Singapore-New York market and about 12 carriers offering one-stop products in the Singapore-Los Angeles market.”
CAPA notes that the flights were unprofitable, but “had a high volume of corporate traffic and helped win corporate accounts in the US.”
For reference, here’s a map of the Singapore-Newark flight. You can see just how long it is, passing over the Arctic Circle:
- Alex Davies