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Singapore - 29. June 2004

 


Singapore Airlines beats its own long-haul record


Singapore has moved a bit closer to New York as Singapore Airlines launched a new nonstop service between the two cities with an ultra long-haul Airbus A340-500 aircraft. It's the airlines second nonstop destination in the USA.

Flight SQ22 departed at 12.25 Singapore local time on 28th June and completed the 16,600 km (9,000 nm) sector to New York's Newark Airport in 18 hours 18 minutes. The airline beat its previous record distance for a non-stop round trip commercial service, when it introduced the A340-500 on the service between Singapore and Los Angeles on 3rd February 2004. On that occasion, the A340-500 completed the 14,093 km / 7,609 nm sector to Los Angeles in 14 hours 42 minutes.

While the passengers arrive in New York at the same day as they left Singapore, much more time is lost on the return leg. The flight back to Asia, SQ21, departs from New York's Newark Airport at 2300 local time and arrives in Singapore two days later at 0535 in the morning.

 

The Airbus A340-500 in flight. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

 

Singapore's A340-500 is designed to feature a very spacious cabin with just 181 seats in a two- class configuration. The Raffles (business) Class cabin has 64 of the airline's renowned SpaceBeds. Arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration, the seats have a generous pitch of 64 inches. The Executive Economy Class offers 117 seats in a 2-3-2 configurationwith a seat pitch of 37 inches.

With the introduction of the non-stop service between Singapore and New York (Newark Airport) on 28 June, flights between Amsterdam and Newark will be discontinued. However, Singapore Airlines will be increasing its services to Amsterdam from four times weekly to a daily flight. The airline's services to New York will increase to 14 times weekly, up from 11 times at present.

Singapore Airlines placed an order for 10 A340-500s in 1998 - five on firm order and five on option - worth US$2.2 billion, including the cost of spares and spare engines. The aircraft is powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 553 engines. Singapore Airlines is the second airline to operate the A340-500 after Emirates Airlines, who opened new routes from Dubai to Australia using the new ultra long-haul Airbus. Air Canada will be a third operator, once their financial problems are sorted out.

The world is getting a smaller place and Asia has just moved closer to New York. However, sharp tongues argue that Singapore Airlines is still far away from the Big Apple. Actually, the airline is using Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey, a few miles away of the State of New York. Anyway, New York's JFK isn't really nearer to the city's centre.

Michael Meier

 

 

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