World's longest commercial flight takes-off from Singapore

Singapore Airline's new Airbus A350-900ULR which will embark on the world's longest non-stop plane journey

The Singapore Airlines flight took just over 18 hours to fly the more than 9,000 mile journey from Singapore. Instead, it has 94 more-spacious premium economy and 67 business class seats, which can fold out into a bed. From Singapore to Newark, the flight will run about 17 hours and 25 minutes; it's the return flight from Newark to Singapore that will likely exceed 19 hours.

"Now that you asked me, I'm a little bit anxious".

Singapore Airlines (SIA) said there was demand for customers for non-stop services which help cut travelling times compared with flights which have a stopover.

"The time passed swiftly and had not seen like a 17 and a half hour flight". "I have a lot of notes to read, hopefully I can sleep well".

The World's longest flight, with 161 passengers, began its journey from Singapore's Changi Airport and landed at the Newark Liberty Airport at 0529 US Eastern time.

Until now, the longest direct commercial flight was between Doha in Qatar and Auckland, New Zealand, taking 17 hours and 30 minutes.

'My cousin said 'hey, this is in the press.' I'm going to take pictures and show her, ' she said.

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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.

It also has a high ceiling and large windows.

"The biggest concern is Deep Vein Thrombosis from a combination of sitting for too long and also from dehydration", said Gail Cross, an associate consultant at the National University Hospital in Singapore.

Prior to this, Qantas Airlines was hailed for plying their Boeing 787 on a "ground-breaking" 17-hour non-stop route from Perth to London earlier this year.

"They are hoping to capitalize and exploit a very niche market", he told AFP.

Tilo Kruger was boarding the flight with three friends - all members of the "first to fly" club, which was formed after the inaugural Airbus A380 flew from Singapore to Sydney in 2007. All business class tickets have sold out and only a limited number of premium economy are still available, a representative for the airline company tells the media outlet. Other US destinations include Houston (five times weekly via Manchester), Los Angeles (daily via Seoul and daily via Tokyo), and San Francisco (daily non-stop from Singapore as well as daily via Hong Kong). The first aircraft was delivered in September, and six more are due to arrive before the end of the year.

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