Singapore Airlines resumes non-stop flights to New York

The world's longest flight is back on the map, with Singapore Airlines restarting its 18+ hour New York service.

By David Flynn, October 20 2020
Singapore Airlines resumes non-stop flights to New York

Singapore Airlines is bringing back the world's longest flight – an 18+ hour non-stop marathon from Singapore to New York – on November 9, 2020.

But this time there's a bit of a twist: instead of the route's traditional US anchor at the NY-adjacent Newark, the flight is moving to New York's flagship John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Singapore Airlines says the change to JFK will allow it "to better accommodate a mix of passenger and cargo traffic on its services to New York in the current operating climate."

That cargo will be drawn from the wide a range of industries based in the New York metro area, including pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and technology firms.

Indeed, Singapore Airlines is talking the flight up as "the only non-stop air cargo link from the U.S. Northeast to Singapore", which in turn serves as a regional distribution hub for many major US-based companies.

Singapore Airlines' Airbus A350 will once again tackle the Singapore-New York marathon.
Singapore Airlines' Airbus A350 will once again tackle the Singapore-New York marathon.

Given the current low numbers of passengers jetting between Singapore and the New York due to the spread of Covid-19 across the USA and subsequent travel restrictions, Singapore Airlines aims to maximise the route's cargo-carrying capacity and switch from the globe-striding Airbus A350-900ULR ('ultra long range') which launched the route in October 2013, to a standard A350-900.

From a passenger perspective, there's no practical difference between the these two versions of the A350 except for the fact that the standard model includes economy class seats, while the 900ULR variant is outfitted with only business class and premium economy.

Singapore Airlines' Airbus A350 business class seat.
Singapore Airlines' Airbus A350 business class seat.

The route will resume running at a thrice-weekly schedule:

  • SQ24 will depart Singapore at 2.55am on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, reaching New York/JFK at 7.30am
  • SQ23 will be wheels up from New York/JFK at 10.30pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, returning to Singapore at 6.10am two days later

As our review of the inaugural Singapore-New York flight detailed, there's no getting over the sheer length of this trek – a journey made more arduous by some aspects of the business class seat's design as well as the lack of any social area so you can escape the seat to stand around, stretch your legs, chat with fellow travellers and help the time go by a little faster.

ET review: Singapore Airlines SQ22 Airbus A350 business class, Singapore-New York

“Operating these flights between Singapore and New York’s JFK International Airport represent an important step in the rebuilding of our global network," remarked Lee Lik Hsin, Executive Vice President Commercial for Singapore Airlines.

"Non-stop ultra-long services are the bedrock of our services to the key U.S. market. We will continue to ramp up existing services and reinstate other points as the demand for both passenger and cargo services return."

Also read: Flight of fancy? Here are Singapore Airlines' Airbus A380 first class concepts

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 356

Is JFK a permanent change?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2432

That's not known, if it was it'd be in the story...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 356

Oh sassy. Was just asking as it didn’t say either way

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 356

David I just have to say that your response to the question was completely unnecessary. There's no doubt the entire country is doing it tough but especially so for your readers in Victoria. We are constantly bombarded with bad news and use websites like yours as a break from covid news, or even just to read about things that were normal to us pre covid. I don't believe my question was by any means a stupid one as, like I said, you didn't state either way so asked the question. I also know some of the questions on this site can be a bit daft but there was absolutely no need to get sassy and make me feel like an idiot for asking it. Always been a fan of this site but when you're treating readers like idiots that doesn't make you want to keep visiting the site and contributing to your income.  

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2432

Hey aklrunway - sorry if you didn't like the reply, but it wasn't intended to be smart or smug or dismissive, only to be a simple statement of fact - if SQ has said the swap from Newark to JFK was temporary, we would have included that in the story, because we include as much info as we can and as is relevant. Similarly, if SQ had said it was permanent, we'd have mentioned that. And I don't believe your question was 'stupid', it was just a basic (straightforward) question to which I offered a (basic) straightforward reply. Maybe the brevity of that reply was the issue.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 370

David's reply was being succinct without going to 'War & Peace' proportions. If you feel the need for a more detailed and lengthy correspondence, spare the rest of us and write to him direct using the Personal Message facility. I didn't interpret his reply as sassy or worse, I don't really see why you did.   My $0.50 worth.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 104

whats wrong with the seat design?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2432

Have a read of the review of the inaugural Singapore-New York flight linked in the article for full details, but basically: most business class seats go from seat to bed through a continuous range of motion as the seat reclines. SQ's A350 business class take is different: like its previous A380 business class seats, the back of the seat flips over to create the bed, so you have to get out of the seat (and clear away the tray table, push it back etc) to do the seat-to-bed switch. On a long flight like this there are times when you'd like to relax for a bit by putting the seat into a nice deep 'daybed' recline or even mostly flat, but if you have to get up, clear away your laptop etc, flip over the seat, get back in etc every time, that's a real pain compared to just being able to stay nestled into the seat and change 'modes' at the press of a button. It may sound small but I found that on this long flight, it really took the edge off what should be a relaxing ride which accommodated my needs from start to finish.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 370

Sounds like the same J-class seats on Virgin Atlantic's Dreamliners. I agree with your description.

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 175

Also, many people find these seats overly firm when converted to a bed, my wife included.  She small and light so maybe that contributes.  I don’t have that complaint but at 6’3” I do find foot space can be tight both when sitting and sleeping.  It’s not a great business class seat unfortunately.

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 91

I agree, the overly firm base and the need to flip the seat over are serious drawback of these seats, same as on the A380s.

14 Nov 2018

Total posts 3

United Airlines, are moving their operation from Ewr to Jfk 

21 Oct 2020

Total posts 2

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I agree with aklrunway

I also interpreted David’s response as “sassy”. Enough to create an account, and actually post a response to this thread. Whilst David’s response wasn’t out of line, I could see why aklrunway runway took offence.

Perhaps David should have made it clear in the article? 

Questions from the readers should be encouraged. Responses like that from the authors/moderators can be interpreted as somewhat aggressive, or belittling. I don’t agree with that.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 356

Thank you for your response A380lover. I appreciate the support. I wasn’t sure if I was being sensitive on the issue but I think especially during covid it’s important to call out things that perhaps make people feel worse during these challenging times when we’re just doing our best to make it through the trying times ahead of us. We all have our challenges and this is one site I really enjoy to escape the usual covid news we’re subjected to, especially in Victoria, and it should feel supported not bad for asking questions.

Thanks again and I hope you’re staying safe

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 370

A359lover, as a longtime reader, have you EVER seen David give a sassy reply or any reply that's less than polite. As a longtime reader I can say I have not, and suspect your considered answer is 'No'. 

Aklrunway, I too am a prisoner in Chairman Dan's jail down here. Your initail question was succinct and neither stupid or daft.  But honestly, I think you did over react and unintentionally unloaded on David (who has proven himself over the years to 'have the patience of Job').

Hoping the 25Kms travel, previously 5Kms, helps. Even still, not being able to travel outside Vic makes me feel like I'm a prisoner on remand. Exercise does help (even a walk with an umbrella in this rain). Add a cigar and its nirvana. Forgive this War & Peace post, but its now got out of hand !!

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2432

Hi A380lover – I'm honestly not in the habit of listing in an article everything that's not known, because there's usually more of that than what is known. If there's something really key which is TBA then I may well call that out, but I don't consider "Will this flight always be JFK or Newark?" to be a key issue, especially in these weird times when so much is changeable. 

21 Oct 2020

Total posts 2

Fair response David.

Thanks for the reply.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 318

What’s with the David Bashing today?? I didn’t find him “sassy” or rude. Matter of factly yes. But far from rude!!

Besides, let’s try focus on the article. On which I have absolutely nothing to say. LOL


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