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Originally published Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM

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World’s longest nonstop flight ending

The Singapore to Newark flight, a 19-hour slog, is being halted by Singapore Airlines which didn’t get enough passengers on the route. The airline also has halted its L.A.-Singapore flight.


Bloomberg News

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The end of the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight, a 19-hour slog between Singapore and New York, is bad news for Chia Teck Fatt.

Passengers like Chia who are used to making the journey from Singapore to Newark, New Jersey, will instead fly to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport via Frankfurt starting next month, adding five hours to their journeys. Singapore Airlines is stopping its services from Singapore to Newark with its all-business class four-engine Airbus SAS A340-500 after ending the second-longest flight from Los Angeles to the island city earlier this week.

“I’m looking for another way to travel to New York,” said Chia, after checking in at the business-class lounge at Singapore’s Changi Airport.

With oil prices tripling in the last decade, the carrier struggled to ferry executives on the 100-seat flights profitably for the past nine years, a sign that the airline industry is once again putting profitability ahead of glamour. The iconic transatlantic flights with the supersonic Concorde were scrapped a decade ago. The shrinking of Wall Street firms and travel cutbacks after the global financial crisis have made it difficult for airlines to lure top-dollar clients.

“It didn’t make sense to continue,” said Siyi Lim, a Singapore-based investment analyst at OCBC Investment Research. “The plane burns a lot of fuel, but carries very few passengers,” he said about the Airbus A340-500 aircraft that Singapore Airlines was using.

The last of the longest nonstop flights will touch down at Singapore’s Changi in the early hours of Nov. 25, ending the world’s longest direct service, Singapore Air said in an email.

The Singapore-Newark service is about 10,376 miles long, while the Los Angeles flight was more than 8,700 miles. The longest nonstop commercial flight by distance after the end of these two routes will be Qantas Airways 8,574-mile flight from Sydney to Dallas. Qantas uses a Boeing Co. 747-400ER on that route, the Australian carrier said.



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