Singapore gets reconnected to US

Direct flights between Singapore and the US restarted today, following two-and-a-half-year hiatus.

Late on Wednesday, United Airlines’ first non-stop flight departed San Francisco International Airport, bound for Singapore. The inaugural outbound service took off from the Californian city at 2255 local time, and will arrive at Changi Airport at 0615 on Friday, having crossed the International Date Line. The first return service will depart Singapore at 0845 tomorrow morning, arriving back in San Francisco at 0915 the same day.

United will fly its Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Singapore
United will fly its Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Singapore

United will operate the route daily using its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. And with distance of 13,593km and a flying time of approximately 16 hours 20 minutes westbound, and 15 hours 30 minutes eastbound, this makes it the longest Dreamliner route currently operated by any airline.

The direct service will reduce the journey time between the two cities by around four hours.

“Our non-stop service between San Francisco and Singapore further enhances our already unprecedented trans-Pacific route network and builds an even stronger gateway to the Pacific from our San Francisco hub,” said Jim Compton, United’s vice chairman & chief revenue officer.

“These flights will offer our customers unique nonstop convenience when traveling to Singapore from the West Coast, with dozens of one-stop options from other cities across the Americas, including more than 26 that did not have one-stop service to Singapore before.”

United’s new service marks the first time since late 2013, when Singapore Airlines suspended its non-stop services to New York and Los Angeles, that Singapore and the US have been linked with a direct flight.

At that time, Singapore-Newark flight route was the world’s longest scheduled flight, at 15,345km. United’s new Singapore-San Francisco now becomes the third longest commercial air route in the world, behind Emirates’ Dubai-Auckland (14,203km) and Qantas’ Sydney-Dallas (13,804km) flights.

Singapore becomes the second new Asia Pacific destination United has launched from San Francisco this year, following the recent start of flights to Xi’an. And its trans-Pacific expansion will continue next month with the launch of services to Auckland and Hangzhou.

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