Today’s long-range aircraft technology makes it possible to fly non-stop almost anywhere in the world. So what’s wrong with Singapore? It’s a financial and commercial powerhouse in the Asia/Pacific region, but you can’t fly there from the U.S. without an intermediate stop.
Singapore Airlines used to offer non-stop flights from both Los Angeles and Newark, using 100-seat all-business-class Airbus A340-500s, but it discontinued both routes in the fall of 2013, and now offers only one-stop service from the U.S. But the airline’s CEO told Bloomberg News he wants to see a revival of non-stops.
According to the Bloomberg report, Singapore is in discussions with both Boeing and Airbus regarding the development of “a new plane with new technology that would allow it to fly non-stop to the U.S.”
Obviously the airline’s old A340-500s were capable of that feat, but the plane’s four engines burned too much fuel to make the service viable from a profitability standpoint.
The Newark-Singapore non-stops were the longest in the world, at 9,000 nautical miles, and the LAX-Singapore route was the second-longest, at 7,500. Modern long-range jets have two engines and are more fuel-efficient. Boeing’s 777-200LR can fly 8,625 nautical miles, Bloomberg said, and Airbus’ new A350 is rated at up to 8,200.
But the airline’s CEO also told Bloomberg that Singapore has had trouble securing so-called Fifth Freedom rights, which would allow it to carry passengers between the U.S. and an intermediate country.
Singapore Airlines currently flies from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Singapore via Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul; from New York via Frankfurt and from Houston via Moscow.
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