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SIA to launch non-stop flights to New York's JFK airport from next month

SIA - AFP.jpg
Singapore's flag carrier already operates non-stop services to Los Angeles. SIA said it will continue to assess demand before it mounts services to other US cities.

SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) will operate non-stop flights between Changi Airport and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport from Nov 9.

At over 18 hours long, it is the world's longest flight.

Singapore's flag carrier suspended its non-stop service to New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport in March this year as the pandemic eroded travel demand. This flight was previously the world's longest.

In a statement on Tuesday, SIA said that operating to JFK International would let the airline "better accommodate a mix of passenger and cargo traffic on its services to New York in the current operating climate".

In particular, it expects significant cargo demand from various industries in the New York metro area, including from pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and technology companies.

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It added that the non-stop service would also be supported by transfer passengers who are able to transit via the Singapore hub.

The new direct flight will be operated using its Airbus A350-900 long-range aircraft, which has a three-class configuration of 42 business-class, 24 premium economy and 187 economy-class seats.

Singapore's flag carrier already operates non-stop services to Los Angeles. The carrier added that it will continue to review its US operations and assess demand for air travel before it mounts services to other US cities.

Executive vice-president (commercial) for SIA, Lee Lik Hsin, described the new service as an important step in rebuilding its global network. He said: "Non-stop ultra-long services are the bedrock of our services to the key US market. We will continue to ramp up existing services and reinstate other points as the demand for both passenger and cargo services return."

He went on to say: "Despite the challenging times for the airline industry, there are some early signs of optimism about a recovery in air travel." The carrier's customers have indicated a growing confidence about air travel as stringent health and safety measures are implemented, and some countries are slowly working towards easing border restrictions safely, he added.

Health and safety measures include extensive cleaning of aircraft and disinfection of surfaces prior to the flight, replacing headsets and headrest covers as well having its cabin crew wear protective gear such as goggles, gloves and masks.

Passengers have to keep their masks on throughout the flight when they are not eating and drinking, and inflight service has been modified to minimise contact between the cabin crew and passengers.

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