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Singapore Airlines To Launch Ultra Long Range A350 Variant For Direct Flights To The US

Singapore A350
Airbus Rendering Of Singapore Airlines A350XWB

On October 13th 2015, Singapore Airlines has announced it was adding 4 more A350-900 to its current outstanding order of 63 with Airbus. On that occasion, the carrier detailed new plans to fly direct non-stop flights to the US once it takes delivery of 7 specially configured new Airbus A350-900. The 7 aircraft will be taken from the current backlog of 63 A350-900XWB on order with Airbus, and receive special modifications to increase their endurance. Re-designated as Ultra Long Range, the new A350-900 aircraft variant will incorporate an increase Maximum Take Off Weight sufficient to accommodate the extra fuel needed for the longer cruise, along with necessary modifications to the fuel system. In addition the aircraft is set to receive aerodynamic improvements which have not yet been specified by Airbus at this time. The decision by the airline to re-introduce direct flights between Singapore and the US comes two years after it stopped operating the world’s longest commercial non-stop flight linking Singapore to Newark. On that route first established since 2004, the airline relied upon a quad-engined A340-500 configured strictly with 100 of the carrier award-winning fully flat business class seats. Following the route closure, the A340-500 aircraft used by Singapore Airline on that route were to be re-purchased by Airbus which it appears has kept them (5 aircraft) in storage ever since. The 18.5 hours Newark Singapore intended to save business travelers the 4 hours additional time that connecting flights on non-direct routes impose. However the significant duration of flight itself may have discouraged some business travelers.

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