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Singapore Airlines poised to launch direct New York flights

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Singapore Airlines has announced the launch of a new route which will be the longest non-stop passenger one in the world. The Southeast Asian carrier claims direct flights between Singapore and New York will be in the air before the end of 2018.

The distance between the two locations is about 15,500kms and it will take Singapore Airlines' flights in excess of 19 hours to cover it. The length of these will trump Qantas' current longest flights in the world. Qantas inaugurated Perth to London flights just over a month ago. These are 17 hours long.

Singapore Airlines already flies to New York, but stops in London or Frankfurt en route to refuel. Airbus is finishing off trials on the A350-900ULR aircraft and these have the capability of flying for 20 hours or more on one load of fuel. Singapore Airlines has seven of these on order and Airbus is due to deliver the first in just over two months.

Airline industry analysts say the ultra-long Singapore Airlines flights will require the A350-900ULRs to be loaded up with extra fuel to in turn carry the additional fuel needed to make the trip. A rough estimation shows the aircraft will be carrying at least 6,000 gallons more fuel than needed for shorter flights.

Airlines appear to be constantly trying to outdo one another with trans-global flight lengths. Qatar started the current trend early last year with the inauguration of 17-hour-long flights between Qatar and Auckland, New Zealand. Qantas then pipped Qatar and it seems like Singapore Airlines is now trying to get in on the act.