In the world of travel, airlines are the first port of call. Ferrying people between destinations, they are a crucial means of travel, for both business and pleasure. In 2012, almost 3 billion people took to the skies as airline passengers – and this is expected to grow to 3.6 billion by the year 2016. The advent of commercial flight has opened up a golden age of travel, one in which we are still living. People all over the world can be easily transported in a matter of hours. The need to serve passengers all over the world means that many long haul flights are inevitable.
A recent flight plan by Singapore Airlines shows that it will soon hold the title for the world’s longest flight. Emirates Airlines held the record at 17 hours and 35 minutes, but with a 19 hour flight from Singapore to New York, Singapore Airlines has taken the spot.
The new destination will start in 2018, but it is in fact a relaunch. The flight programme was cancelled in 2013, and now, upon its return, the 15,300 km route will be used by businesspeople travelling to the United States. In order to do this, Singapore Airlines must order seven ultra-long-range aircrafts, to ensure that are able to fly for up to 19 hours.
Earlier this month, Air India announced a new flight between India and the US. Connecting Bangalore to San Francisco, the flight will take 18 hours, and be the longest in operation. However, Air India would not hold the title long if Singapore Airlines’ plan runs on schedule.
The fall in global oil prices has allowed ultra-long-range flights to become commercially viable, and cheaper fuel means airlines may expect a profit. With oil prices continuing to fall, many more ultra-long-range flights may soon be on the horizon.