The new service serves San Francisco twice daily. These flights are the longest in the Singapore Airlines network and among the longest in duration in the world.
Depending on winds, direction, and time of year, your flying time between northern California and the south-east Asian city-state will be between 14 1/2 and nearly 18 hours. That rivals other longest-of-the-long-haul flights by other airlines: the same San Francisco to Singapore route on United Airlines that also just launched, as well as other carriers' flights from Toronto to Hong Kong, Dallas to Dubai, and New York to Johannesburg.
In a double milestone, the plane to make this trip also happens to be Singapore Airlines' sixth Airbus A350-900 – the 10,000th Airbus delivered to the company since 1979.
Singapore Airlines ceremoniously took delivery of the plane this fall from Airbus and flew it from Toulouse, France, to the West Coast for the San Francisco-Singapore service. The same aircraft is being used for Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, and Johannesburg long haul flights.
You'll be happy to hear it has an extra-wide body, and other features that make the flight easier, like higher ceilings, larger windows, and lighting to reduce jetlag, along with technological advances and superior operating efficiency that benefit all 253 souls flying in the plane's three classes, with 42 in Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy Class and 187 in Economy Class.
Do you think that's just too long to be on a plane?
Well, for many people, that's 'just' a work day and a full night's sleep. See? Productive.
But no fun. How about this? Over the course of your flight you couldn't even get through a marathon viewing of the box set of Harry Potter movies! So, not so long after all, right?
Flights this long are broken up by a lot of food service, too. Singapore Airlines has a 'Book the Cook' service that lets some passengers plan and select your meals before your flight, so you can choose carb-heavy courses for when you think you'll be wanting to sleep, and lighter courses when you want to get some work done.
If you're still finding it hard to picture yourself on a flight this long, there are even longer ones coming down the pipeline.
In 2018, Singapore Airlines will take delivery of the first of a variation on this Airbus, the A350-900ULR, which stands for 'Ultra Long Range'. The airline is planning on using this upcoming aircraft for the world's longest non-stop flights: between Singapore and New York - tacking at least a couple more hours onto the current flights from San Francisco.
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