NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — An Airbus jetliner arrived in Newark on Friday after a nearly 18-hour trip from Singapore, completing the world’s longest commercial flight.
It marked the revival of a route that had been eliminated in 2013.
Singapore Airlines Flight SQ22 arrived at 5:29 am (0929 GMT), the Newark Liberty International Airport website said. That made for a flight of 17 hours and 52 minutes.
The flight had been scheduled to take 18 hours and 25 minutes. Flying from New York to Singapore would be a longer journey.
The plane was carrying 150 passengers and 17 crew members as it traveled 10,250 miles (16,500 kilometers).
“I feel perfectly well rested,” said Kristopher Alladin, a 37-year-old Canadian. “I’m lucky because I’m able to sleep on the plane.”
Singapore Airlines only offers premium economy and business seats on this flight — no regular economy seats.
“Although you’re in premium eco, you feel like you’re in first class,” said Alladin, adding that he had taken the same flight in 2008. “The flight was very smooth, very quiet.”
A one-way ticket from Singapore to New York on this flight costs about $2,150 in premium economy and $3,500 for a roundtrip itinerary, according to the Singapore Airlines website.
Singapore Airlines originally flew the route for nine years using the gas-guzzling, four-engine A340-500 plane before abandoning it in 2013 because high oil prices made the service unprofitable.
This trip was made with the new and more fuel efficient Airbus A350-900ULR.
It topped the previous longest direct air link between cities — Qatar Airways Flight 921 from Auckland to Doha, which takes 17 hours 40 minutes.
© Agence France-Presse