POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 28, 2012
NEW YORK » The world's longest commercial flight — Singapore to Newark, N.J. — is being canceled.
Singapore Airlines announced Wednesday that it will end its nonstop flight between Singapore and Newark, a distance of about 9,500 miles. A slightly shorter route between Singapore and Los Angeles will also end. The two routes were flown on gas-guzzling Airbus A340-500s.
The airline found the only way to make the routes profitable was by configuring the plane with 98 business class seats that sell for about $8,000 round trip. Other airlines operate the same plane with about 250 seats in first, business and economy classes.
The flight from Newark, right outside New York, to Singapore takes about 18 hours. The trip from Los Angeles is about 1,500 miles shorter but takes 18 hours and 30 minutes.
Headwinds over the Pacific Ocean slow the Los Angeles flight, while the Newark flight goes over the North Pole and can fly faster. The Newark flight is the longest-distance flight in the world, and the Los Angeles one holds the record for duration. The flights started in 2004.
The new titles for longest flights will go to a Qantas route between Sydney and Dallas — which at about 8,500 miles is the longest route — and a Delta flight between Johannesburg and Atlanta, which at 17 hours will hold the title of longest duration.
The A340s currently used on the world's longest flights will be retired by the end of 2013.