As the president of Ravn Alaska and a former pilot, I’m quite familiar with airplane travel. I’ve been on various flights; long ones, short ones and everything in between. And even though long flights are challenging, I’ve always been able to get through them will relative ease. But this upcoming commercial flight could certainly make me think twice about stepping on board.
According to Cnet, Singapore Airlines is looking to launch the world’s longest flights. Scheduled for October 11th, the flight will depart from Singapore and land in New York. Covering a whopping 10,400 miles, the flight will be considered the world’s longest flight, clocking in at 18 hours and 45 minutes. Currently, the world’s longest flight record belongs to Qatar Airways. Their 18-hour flight from Qatar to New Zealand left the world in awe of how far our airplanes can travel.
The airplane expected to be used for the flight is the A350-900ULR from Airbus. The beautiful aircraft can fly for up to 20 hours, so this trip is certainly within the plane’s wheel house. Both Airbus and Singapore Airlines are excited for the trip, as it will continue to set a precedent for what modern aviation technology is capable of.
While the Singapore Airlines flight will be able to lay claim to the longest-flight record, they may not be able to celebrate for too long. Several other airlines, such as Air New Zealand and Philippine Airlines, are working hard to send their aircraft across the world in an effort to claim the world’s longest flight record. Philippine Airlines has a flight scheduled to travel from Manila to New York (a 17-hour flight) and Air New Zealand has a 16-hour flight scheduled to go from Chicago to Auckland.
This is an exciting time to be in the aviation industry. These airlines and aircraft manufacturers are looking to push the limits of air travel. Hopefully we can get to a point where long flights such as these will not take 18 hours to complete, but until then, let’s just be happy that we can travel so far in less than a day.