Singapore Airlines Wants to Restore Non-Stop Flights to New York

Singapore Airlines plans to restore non-stop flights between Singapore and New York by 2018, which if launched, will become the world's longest passenger flight once again. Singapore Airlines last operated the nineteen hour non-stop flights in 2013.

Copyright Photo: DJ /
Although the Singaporean carrier would like to reintroduce flights, company executives have said that there are currently no commercially viable jets available on the market to operate this route. Both Boeing and Airbus have been tapped by the carrier to produce an aircraft that can operate this flight feasibly.

According to Airbus' Executive Vice President for Strategy and Marketing, Kiran Rao, the European aircraft manufacturer is developing a new variant of the A350-900 that would enable Singapore Airlines to restore the flights.  Rao added that the variant should be able to operate the flight with 25 percent less fuel consumption, compared to older models. However, Singapore Airlines would have to configure the aircraft with a less dense layout than the typical 325-seat three class configuration.

Airbus says that other airlines have also expressed interest in this variant. One of the airlines might be Philippine Airlines, which has plans of its own to operate a non-stop Manila to New York route. However, like Singapore Airlines, PAL is still evaluating the next generation aircraft to determine which aircraft would be best suited for the viable operation of these routes.

The last non-stop route to New York operated by Singapore Airlines was flown utilizing an Airbus A340-500, which covered a distance of 15,344 kilometres, making it the longest non-stop commercial air route. That aircraft was equipped with just 100 business class seats, which proved to not be viable.

Finding a viable aircraft is an essential ingredient in making non-stop Southeast Asia to North America routes profitable. Several carriers have tried in the past but have since withdrawn or reduced service.

Thai Airways recently revealed that it would discontinue service between Los Angeles and Bangkok via Seoul. Previous to that, the Thai carrier operated non-stop service between Los Angeles and Bangkok up until 2012 and non-stop service between New York and Bangkok up until 2008. Last year, Malaysian Airlines also cancelled flights to the United States when it discontinued its Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles via Tokyo service.

Philippine Airlines and Singapore Airlines are the last two Southeast Asian carriers with direct service to the United States. Singapore Airlines continues to operate flights to the U.S. with services to Los Angeles via Tokyo, New York via Frankfurt, Houston via Moscow, and San Francisco via Seoul and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines operates non-stop service from Manila to Los Angeles and San Francisco with plans to introduce non-stop service from Cebu to Los Angeles next year. Most recently, PAL launched a Manila to New York service via Vancouver. Although it is too early to tell if PAL's New York or Cebu to Los Angeles route will be a success, the Philippine flag carrier remains set on expansion in the United States with future plans to serve Chicago and Florida.

References: Bloomberg


  1. For SQ, it can always execute a business plan or route because it has an efficient management and ample capital to initiate such projects at the earliest possible time. It's Singapore to Moscow to Houston is the most promising route todate because of the former Soviet Union's economic potential, I,e., natural resources including fossil oil, natural gas, educated populace, peace and order, etc. It's Singapore to Hongkong to San Francisco is the most popular and profitable route of SQ. I have experienced that flight in the mid-80's. Marvelous SQ!

  2. Couldn't SG just buy some Boeing 777-200LRs? They have a similar range to the A340s but have two less engines.

    1. It may be due to the ETOPS limitation of the B777-200 LR's which currently has ETOPS-330 certification while A340's are excluded off...

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  4. Flight london
    To manila via nepal kahit a380 pa puno


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