SIA to relaunch direct flights to US

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SIA plans to fly to New York and Los Angeles in 2018
SIA plans to fly to New York and Los Angeles in 2018

Singapore Airlines has announced plans to relaunch direct flights to the US, using a new type of ultra-long-haul aircraft.

The airline has signed a deal with Airbus that will see it become the launch customer for a new version of the A350.

This A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft will have a range of up to 8,700 nautical miles (16,100km), enabling SIA to fly direct to destinations in the US on just two engines.

SIA has agreed to operate seven of these ultra-long-haul aircraft, which form part of its existing order for 63 A350s. And once the A350-900ULRs are delivered in 2018, SIA said it will deploy them on routes to Los Angeles and New York. The airline added that other destinations in the US are “under consideration”.

“Our customers have been asking us to re-start non-stop Singapore-US flights and we are pleased that Airbus was able to offer the right aircraft to do so in a commercially viable manner,” said SIA’s CEO, Goh Choon Phong.

“This is another example of how we strive to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations by remaining at the forefront of product and service innovation in our industry. It will also further strengthen the Singapore hub by providing the fastest and most convenient air connectivity between North America and Southeast Asia.”

SIA suspended its LA and New York routes in 2013 as they were deemed uneconomical. Both routes were served using a four-engined A340 aircraft. The new two-engined A350s however, are far less thirsty than the fuel-guzzling A340s.

As part of the deal to convert its A350 orders to the new long-range version, SIA has also decided to confirm an order for four more A350 aircraft, out of 20 that the airline had on option.

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