I flew on the world's longest flight in premium economy — here's what the 17-hour voyage was like

I flew on the world's longest flight in premium economy — here's what the 17-hour voyage was like
I flew on the world's longest flight in premium economy — here's what the 17-hour voyage was like

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I flew on the world's longest flight in premium economy — here's what the 17-hour voyage was like

Our chariot. A Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900ULR.Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

  • Singapore Airlines relaunched the longest flight in the world between Newark Liberty International Airport and Changi Airport.
  • The trip between New York and Singapore covers 10,000 miles and can take up to 19 hours.
  • Business Insider took the inaugural flight to Singapore in business class.
  • Then we made the flight back in premium economy. 

In October, Singapore Airlines re-introduced its nonstop flight connecting New York and the airline's homeland in Singapore. At 10,000 miles with a duration of up to 19 hours, it is the longest flight in the world. And it will likely retain that title until Qantas launches its long-awaited nonstop London/Sydney route that could last as long as 20 hours. However, neither Airbus nor Boeing have an aircraft that can do the flight economically, so don't hold your breath. 

Singapore Airlines hasn't operated a nonstop flight service between the Lion City and the Big Apple since 2013 when it shelved the flights due to high fuel prices. At the time, Singapore used Airbus A340-500s on the route.

While it has exceptional range and capability, the A340-500 was a relic of the 1990s, and the thirst of its four engines proved too uneconomical to sustain. Even a shift to an all-business-class layout couldn't generate enough income to save the route. So in 2013, the airline canceled the service and returned the A340-500 fleet to Airbus.

Fast-forward five years, and things are quite different. Singapore is the proud owner of a fleet of seven new Airbus A350-900ULR airliners — ULR stands for ultra-long-range — representing the latest in commercial aviation.

The carbon-composite A350's pair of massive Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofan engines team up with the plane's sleek wing design to deliver a 25% reduction in fuel consumption over the aircraft it replaced, the company says. In ULR specs, Airbus managed to fit an extra 6,300 gallons of fuel into the A350's tanks, pushing the range up to more than 11,000 miles.

Business Insider had the chance to fly on the inaugural of Flight SQ21 from Newark Liberty International Airport just outside of New York City to Singapore's Changi Airport in business class. After a week in Asia, it was time to go home on Flight SQ22. Here's how I spent the 10,000-mile flight in premium economy. 

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