Singapore Airlines on Thursday relaunched its nonstop service connecting Newark Liberty International Airport just outside New York City with its home base at Changi Airport in Singapore. At about 10,000 miles with a duration of up to 19 hours, the flight is the longest in the world.
Singapore Airlines Flight SQ22, with a new Airbus A350-900ULR, took off from Changi Airport late Thursday evening local time. Nearly 18 hours later, at 5:30 a.m. ET on Friday, the flight arrived in Newark. Later that morning, Flight SQ21 would make the first nonstop return flight back to Singapore in half a decade.
Flight SQ22 marked the first nonstop flight between the Lion City and the Big Apple since 2013, when Singapore Airlines pulled the plug on the service. At the time, Singapore used Airbus A340-500s on the route.
While it has exceptional range and capability, the A340-500 was a relic of the 1990s, and the thirst of its four engines proved too uneconomical to sustain. Even a shift to an all-business-class layout couldn’t generate enough income to save the route. So in 2013, the airline canceled the service and returned the A340-500 fleet to Airbus.
Fast-forward half a decade, and things are quite different. Singapore is the proud owner of a fleet of new Airbus A350-900 ULR jets — “ULR” stands for ultra long range — representing the latest in commercial aviation.
The carbon-composite A350’s pair of massive Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofan engines team up with the plane’s sleek wing design to deliver a 25% reduction in fuel consumption over the aircraft it replaced, the company says. In ULR spec, Airbus managed to fit an extra 6,300 gallons of fuel into the A350’s tanks, pushing the range up to more than 11,000 miles.
Business Insider purchased a business-class ticket aboard the flight from Newark to Singapore. Here’s how it went.