Singapore Airlines (SIA) has taken delivery of the world’s first Airbus A350-900ULR ultra-long-range aircraft.
On 22 September 2018, Singapore Airlines received the first A350-900ULR, which will commence service on 11 October 2018. It will operate as the world’s longest commercial flight between Singapore and Newark Liberty International Airport in New York.
With the delivery of the first ULR aircraft, Singapore Airlines now has 22 of the A350-900 aircraft in its fleet, with 45 more on order including six additional ULR variants. SIA currently operates 40 flights per week to the US cities of Houston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. With the new ULR flights, total US flight frequency will increase to 53 per week by December.
“We have pushed the limits”
“This is a proud moment for both Singapore Airlines and Airbus, not only because we have again strengthened our partnership, but also because we have pushed the limits with this highly advanced new aircraft to extend long-range flying to new lengths,” said Singapore Airlines CEO, Goh Choon Phong.
SIA is the first airline to have the new A350-900ULR aircraft. It’s capable of flying up to 9,700 nautical miles (nm), or over 20 hours non-stop. The flight to New York will cover a distance of approximately 9,000nm (10,376 miles), with a travelling time of up to 18 hours 45 minutes. The aircraft is configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.
Airbus CEO Tom Enders, also commented: “The A350-900ULR will bring more convenience and comfort to our customers and will enable us to operate ultra-long-range flights in a commercially viable manner. It will help us boost our network competitiveness and further grow the Singapore hub.”
Designed to provide a more comfortable flying experience, the A350-900ULR features higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body, quieter cabins and lighting designed to reduce jetlag. Its carbon composite airframe also allows for improved air quality due to a more optimised cabin altitude and humidity levels.
“The highest levels of passenger comfort on the world’s very longest routes”
Enders added: “Today’s delivery is a milestone for Airbus and Singapore Airlines, as together we open a new chapter in non-stop air travel. With its unrivalled range and step-change in fuel efficiency, the A350 is uniquely placed to meet the demand for new ultra-long-haul services. The combination of the A350’s quiet, spacious cabin and SIA’s world-renowned in-flight product will ensure the highest levels of passenger comfort on the world’s very longest routes.”
SIA’s first two A350-900ULRs will be used for the launch of Singapore-New York services, while the other following aircraft will be used for Singapore-Los Angeles services commencing on 2 November 2018, as well as to increase frequency on the existing Singapore-San Francisco route.
By the end of 2018, SIA will link Singapore and the United States with 27 weekly non-stop flights.