Passenger jet departs on longest commercial flight

Longest long-haul flight to New York draws curious flyers

However, more than seven weeks' worth of television and film entertainment will also be provided to the passengers during the journey of 16,700 kilometers (10,400 miles).

Spending almost 19 hours in the air is a helluva long time to be flying, but fortunately the passengers on the world's longest flight won't be cramped in cattle class.

This time around, passengers will fly on the airline's new Airbus A350-900 ULR (ultra-long range) aircraft, where they'll eclipse the approximately 17-and-a-half hours spent flying between Auckland to Doha with Qatar Airways.

Singapore Airlines originally flew the route for nine years using the gas-guzzling, four-engine A340-500 before abandoning it in 2013 because high oil prices made the service unprofitable.

Two first officers and 13-strong cabin contingent will be available for the flight crew.

Passenger Peggy Ang, 52, said before the flight that she felt "apprehensive because I'm not sure what would I do in 18.5 hours" inside the plane. "We expect Singapore Airlines to regain market share, especially in the premium travel market".

But that mantle will pass to Singapore Airlines when it this week launches its A350-900ULR flight of 15,341km (9532m) between Singapore and NY. Perth-London comes in at 14,500km (9010m) with a flight time of 17 hours and 20 minutes. The revamped model consumes 25 per cent less fuel than aircraft of a similar size and performance, according to Maria Luisa Lucas Ugena, Airbus's head of A350 product marketing.

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The cabin features a higher-than-normal ceiling, larger windows and lighting that is created to reduce jet lag on the world's longest flight.

The trophy is now held by Qatar Airways on its Auckland-Doha service with a nominal flight time of just over 18 hours and a distance of 14,535kms (9.032 miles) using a Boeing 777-200LR.

'My cousin said 'hey, this is in the press.' I'm going to take pictures and show her, ' she said.

Of two possible routes that Singapore Airlines could take to Newark, the airline has already told its passengers that they'll be opting for the NOPAC route, or the North Pacific route.

Forget cattle class. The Airbus jet that will ply the route carries a maximum of 161 passengers, compared with 253 on the airline's existing A350-900s. Singapore Air says data speed could be 4-8 Mbps, depending on active users, satellite coverage and weather conditions.

SIA is offering new services to New York (Newark), San Francisco and Los Angeles and, in all, it will be operating 27 non-stop services each week from Singapore to the United States by the end of this year.

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