The world’s longest commercial flight takes off from Singapore tomorrow morning, with the national airline resuming its non-stop route to New York for the first time since 2013. Singapore Airlines previously flew Airbus A340s on the route, but the four-engine aircraft proved to be fuel guzzlers and made the non-stop flight economically unsustainable.
The flight will cover a 16,700 kilometres and take almost 19 hours (imagine 19 hours in a Lion Air economy seat!).
The airline will operate the flight three times a week but are looking to increase frequency to a daily service later this year.
Flight SQ 22 is due to depart at 2.35am Friday from Changi Airport in Singapore and will arrive in at Newark Liberty International Airport at 6am on the same day, Friday, New York time.
Singapore Airlines is flying the new Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra long range) on the route. The plane will feature no economy class, with just 67 business class and 94 premium economy class seats.
While the airline’s business class on board the ULR Airbus remains the same as its shorter-range A350s, Singapore has tweaked its premium economy seats for the long seating time. While the size of the seat is the same – 38 inches (96cm) of pitch and 19 inches (48cm) wide – a new calf rest has been added to increase comfort.
While airlines are typically able to charge more for non-stop flights, Singapore Airlines is offering initial fares from as low as $S1438 (34,159 Baht) return for premium economy from Singapore to Newark.
Advances in technology mean the A350 can carry 165,000 litres of fuel with 161 passengers on board. The all business-class A340, by contrast, carried 223,000 litres of fuel for just 100 passengers.
Airbus is building just seven of the ULR version of the A350-900, all for Singapore Airlines to fly on US routes. The airline intends to also fly non-stop to Los Angeles using the aircraft.
The Top 10 world’s longest flights…
• Singapore-New York – 16,700km
• Doha-Auckland, Qatar Airways – 14,529km
• London-Perth, Qantas – 14,496km
• Dubai-Auckland, Emirates – 14,200km
• Los Angeles-Singapore, United Airlines – 14,113km
• Houston-Sydney, United Airlines – 13,833km
• Sydney-Dallas, Qantas – 13,804km
• San Francisco-Singapore, United Airlines & Singapore Airlines – 13,592km
• Atlanta-Johannesburg, Delta – 13,581km
• Abu Dhabi-Los Angeles, Etihad – 13,502km
Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew
The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is leading a delegation to officiate at the opening of a new rail service between Thailand and Cambodia at Klong Luek railway station in Sa Kaew province. The Thai government funded the maintenance and restoration of the two kilometre rail track between Klong Luek station and Poipet station in Cambodia.
Rail services between Thailand and Cambodia were suspended for decades due to strained relationships between the two countries since the Cold War era. Although the relationship is much better these days there was little interest in the restoration of the rail link as people in both countries tended to prefer travel by road.
Sea turtle returns to its nesting place – it’s now an airport!
“Despite the unfortunate circumstances that befell the turtle mother, she is reportedly in good health and was released back into the ocean by locals,” wrote local news website The Edition.
The incident has sparked fresh debates on the environmental and social costs of the Maldive’s tourism-propelled growth (sounds familiar?).
“The question remains on how much of Maldives’ biodiversity must be sacrificed in order to propel our country forward industrially and economically,” the website said.
The airport, which has a 2.2 kilometre, 40 metre-wide runway, was inaugurated in August last year. The UAE-funded project was built on Maafaru, one of the inhabited islands of Noonu Atoll, which is a traditional nesting place of the marine turtles.
Once a green turtle hatches and heads into the ocean, it rarely returns to land. When they reach sexual maturity, they travel long distances to go back to their natal place to mate and lay eggs.
The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is on the list of endangered species of animals by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
SOURCE: The Nation
East Sulawesi rocked by 6.8 magnitude tremor – tsunami warning
A strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake rattled eastern Indonesia yesterday triggering a tsunami warning, soon retracted, sending panicked residents fleeing to higher ground.
The quake struck off the east coast of Sulawesi island near where a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami around the city of Palu killed more than 4,300 people in September last year.
Indonesia’s disaster agency issued a tsunami warning for coastal communities in the island’s Morowali district, east Sulawesi, where residents were advised to move to elevated grounds. The warning was later lifted.
The tremor off the eastern coast of Sulawesi is on the other side of the island from last year’s disaster-hit Palu, where residents still felt the quake despite being hundreds of kilometres away.
The force of last year’s quake saw entire neighbourhoods levelled by liquefaction, a process where the ground starts behaving like a liquid and swallows up the earth like quicksand.
The sprawling Indonesian archipelago is dotted with more than 100 volcanoes, including one in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands that erupted in late 2018 and unleashed a tsunami that killed more than 400 people.
SOURCE: The Nation | AFP
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