Singapore Airlines to stop flying world’s longest route


HONG KONG – Singapore Airlines will stop flying the world’s longest route next year as the company phases out the aircraft used to make the journey.

The ultra long-haul flight, which runs nonstop from Singapore to Newark, New Jersey, typically takes just under 19 hours to complete. In total, the trip covers roughly 10,000 miles — and sometimes takes passengers over the North Pole.

The airline uses a roster of aging Airbus A340-500 aircraft to fly the route, but the company said Wednesday those planes were being sent back to Airbus as part of a deal to purchase five Airbus A380s and another 20 A350s. The deal is valued at $7.5 billion.

The A340-500 models will remain in service until the fourth quarter of 2013. Nonstop services from Singapore to Los Angeles will also be eliminated.

Singapore Airlines has operated flights on the Newark route since 2004. A hot ticket for business and luxury travelers, passengers boarding the inaugural flight could hear strains of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” pumped through the aircraft’s sound system.