Singapore Airlines To End Longest Flight

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Singapore Airlines Limited says it will end non-stop services to New York’s Nuaark Airport and Los Angeles, the world’s longest commercial flights, next year because of rising fuel prices as well as low patronage.

The all-business class flights will end in the fourth quarter of next year, the airline said in a statement issued recently.

The end of almost 19-hour Nuaark service will leave Singapore Air travellers facing a five hour longer trip to New York as the carrier’s alternative route goes to the City’s JFK airport via Frank-furt. The airline is cancelling the non-stop services which started in 2004 as business cutting costs hit long haul travel.

“There has been significant erosion in premium class fares between Asia and U.S. and loads are lower,” said Timothy Ross, an analyst at Credit Suisse AG in Singapore.

“Singapore Air’s direct services probably failed to match the 80 per cent plus load factors achieved by the rest of its flights to the U.S. “said Ross who had flown on the non-stop routes.

The longest non-stop commercial flight by distance after the end of their routes will be Qantas Airways Ltd. Qantas’ 13,800 kilometre route from Sydacy to Dallas.

“Singapore Air would somewhat lose its appeal to business travellers who prefer the ability to rest on their flights,” said Ahmed Maghfur Usman, a transport analyst at OSK (Asia) Securities in Kuala Lumpur.