An End to the World's Longest Flight

  • Nov 24, 2013 3:13pm GMT

Singapore Airlines ended the world's longest flight, around 19 hours Changi to Newark, this weekend.. now leaving the longest flight - 15 hours from Sydney to Houston.

CNBC has more on the story:

This weekend, Singapore Airlines will terminate its iconic, non-stop all-business-class service to New York - also the world's longest flight - as the aviation sector grapples with high fuel prices and subdued demand for premium travel.

The cancellation of the direct route, which shuttles passengers between Changi and Newark within 18.5 hours and costs around $8,800, has come as a disappointment to business travelers who now face an additional six hours or so in travel time.

"It's disappointing that a direct flight to the U.S. is no longer available. I feel that it was decently full every time we were on it. The timing of the direct flight works best for business travelers," said Singapore-based Sheena Mahtani, who travels to New York for work multiple times a year.

"The SQ flight via Frankfurt would probably be the only other Singapore-New York option that would work," she added, referring to the flight with duration of over 24 hours.

Operating exclusive, non-stop flights to the U.S. has brought about intangible benefits for Singapore's flag carrier, including helping it to win and maintain key corporate accounts, according to Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

"There was also the glamour and prestige associated with operating the world's longest non-stop routes. But ultimately the incredible cost of operating an ultra-long-range service could not be ignored," CAPA said in a recent report on long-range travel.

According to industry experts, despite opting for an all-business configuration and charging a premium over its one-stop services in the same market, the yields were not high enough to offset the high operating costs.