More than 1,100 flights a day find their way into and out of Newark Liberty International, one of the country’s busiest airports. But none compares to the one that touched down shortly before dawn last week.
Singapore Airlines’ A350-900 ULR, reclaiming its status as the world’s longest non-stop flight after a five-year absence, landed just after 6 a.m. on October 11, more than 19 hours after taking off from Singapore’s Changi Airport. The aptly named ULR, which stands for Ultra-Long Range, arrived to great fanfare at Newark Liberty, where it was welcomed by airline officials and employees and Port Authority Aviation Director Huntley Lawrence.
It wasn’t the first time Singapore Airlines had scheduled this extended non-stop flight to Newark. They were routine between 2004 and 2013, before the cost of fuel forced the airline to shelve the service. The new, bigger plane, the airline says, consumes 25-percent less fuel than similar earlier models.
Tickets go for about $5,000 round trip. It includes a continual supply of food and beverages, free WIFI and other amenities. Seats on the new jumbo jet, which was built for this route, are large and comfortable, and comfort is something a passenger on a 19-plus hour flight would certainly desire.
The flight has no economy seats. Instead, it has 94 more-spacious premium economy and 67 business class seats, which can fold out into a bed. Starting next week, the carrier will offer daily flights from Singapore to Newark, once a second Airbus A350-900ULR aircraftis delivered.