Last Flights For Longest Nonstop Routes
Singapore Airlines holds the distinction of flying the world's two longest nonstop flights, but that's about to change. On Tuesday, the airline flew its last nonstop to Los Angeles, which takes about 17 hours to fly 8,800 miles across the Pacific. The longest route, 9,500 miles to Newark, a 19-hour flight via the polar regions, will end Nov. 25. The airline is selling off its fleet of five long-range Airbus A340-500 four-engine aircraft that served the routes, as it upgrades to the more fuel-efficient new A350. The older airplanes are fitted with just 100 wide, fully reclining business-class seats, a configuration that was popular with travelers, even at a cost of $8,000 and up for the round trip. The nonstop routes, which have been operating since 2004, saved about five to six hours of travel time.
Airbus has agreed to buy back the A340 airplanes as part of an order for new types from the airline, according to the CAPA Centre for Aviation. The type has not proved competitive on shorter routes with more fuel-efficient aircraft, according to CAPA. "The aircraft could end up with a government or VIP operator or be scrapped despite being less than 10 years old," CAPA said.