Friday, October 26, 2012

Singapore Airlines cancels non-stop Singapore - New York and Singapore - Los Angeles flights


Singapore Airlines (SIA) is halting its non-stop Singapore - New York and Singapore - Los Angeles services which were carried out ultra long-haul Airbus A 345 aircraft since 2004. By late 2013, all travelers flying to Los Angeles from Singapore by SIA will transit in Tokyo and travelers flying to New York from Singapore will transit in Frankfurt.

“Although disappointing that we will be halting these services, we remain very committed to the US market. Over the past two years we have increased capacity to both Los Angeles and New York by deploying A380 superjumbos on flights via Tokyo and Frankfurt. We will also continue to explore additional options to enhance our US services,” said SIA CEO Mr Goh Choon Phong.[1]

The non-stop Singapore - Los Angeles and Singapore - New York flights are currently world's longest commercial flights by duration and distance. The 18 hour Singapore - New York flight covers 9,500 miles and flies over Europe to US. The Los Angeles - Singapore flight covers 1,500 miles less but thanks to the headwinds over the Pacific Ocean, it takes 18 hours and 30 minutes.

The non-stop services fell victim to SIA's awful decision to convert the flights to all business class just before the 2008 financial crisis. Although the airline does not comment on the financial viability of the routes, Singapore Airlines is flying gas-guzzling Airbus A340-500s on the routes and according to Mr Shukor Yusof from Standard & Poors, Singapore Airlines is losing money from these services and will continue to lose money until they are terminated. According to Daily Mail, the only way to make money from the routes with these planes was by configuring the plane with 98 business class seats that sell for about $8,000 round trip.[2]

Worlds longest commercial flight by distance
Singapore Airlines is cancelling worlds longest commercial flight by distance.
Photo - Daily Mail[2]
Worlds longest commercial flight by duration
Singapore Airlines is cancelling worlds longest commercial flight by distance.
Photo - Daily Mail[2]

After these routes are cancelled, longest commercial flight by distance title will go to a Qantas route between Sydney and Dallas which covers about 8,500 miles (13,700 km) and worlds longest commercial flight by duration title will go to a Delta flight between Johannesburg and Atlanta, which takes 17 hours.[2]

Singapore Airlines is selling its fleet of Airbus A340-500 back to the manufacturer, Airbus, as a part of deal where it has ordered five more Airbus A380s and another 20 A350s.

[1] - Singapore Airlines to Order 25 More Airbus; Cease Non-Stop LA and Newark Flights
[2] - World's longest commercial non-stop flights - both from Singapore to the U.S. - to be cancelled

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