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Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Welcome to a flight review on Singapore Airlines’ flagship Airbus A350-900ULR flight to New York’s John F Kennedy international airport. With a scheduled flight time of 18 Hours and 40 minutes, together with an average distance of 9,800 miles, this flight is so long that Singapore Airlines does not have a economy class cabin on it. This means that aircrafts which ply this route are specially configured, having only Premium Economy and Business class seats. This flight is also currently the world’s longest flight. 

Check-in

I checked in at the mobile kiosk at Changi Airport Terminal 3. However, even though I was able to print out the baggage tags, I was not able to check-in my bags at the self check-in counter. Instead, I soon found out that travellers bound for the United States are supposed to proceed to the manual counters to check-in their baggage, due to the additional security measures imposed for flights bound to the United States. 
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Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy


Today’s flight is onboard 9V-SGG, a 2018 built Airbus A350-900 ULR Aircraft, specially modified to fly this route. The flight time onboard this flight would be approximately 17 hours and 15 minutes, with the Airbus A350 flying over the Pacific Ocean. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

We took off from Singapore Changi Airport Runway 20C and landed at JFK Airport Runway 22L.

Aircraft TypeAirbus A350-900ULR 
Aircraft Registration 9V-SGG
Flight Distance 9067nm
V1/Rotation Speed158/159kts
Take off Weight 273,857kg 
Cruise Altitude 35,000ft, then up to 41,000ft 

Boarding Process

Due to the unique configuration of our aircraft for today, boarding took place relatively quickly. Passengers were called to board by their class of travel, together with the airline loyalty program. Boarding took place so fast that within 20 minutes, all of us were in our seats, ready for the long flight to New York. 


Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Seats

The seats in Premium Economy are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration, with the last 3 rows having a 1-4-1 configuration. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Meanwhile the seats in the business cabin are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving each seat a direct aisle access. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

I am seated in Seat 40C, one of the 6 ‘solo’ seats on the Airbus A350, which means that I would not be having another seat beside me. Instead, what was in place of the other seat was a storage bin, which was rather helpful as I could easily store my carry-on bags right beside me, instead of in the overhead compartment. This also means that I would be able to retrieve any items in my carry on bags without requiring me to stand up. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

The seats have a spacious width of 19.5 inches, offering a generous 38 inch of pitch, and offers a generous 8 inches of recline, resulting in a rather comfortable experience. There is a blanket and a pillow which could be found at every seat, and they were integral in ensuring that I had a comfortable journey onboard this ultra-long haul flight. 

The seats also came with a table lamp which is conveniently located at the left-hand of the seat, and was able to toggle between 3 different brightness settings. The tray tables are sufficiently big, which makes it easy for anyone who wishes to do some work onboard the aircraft. 

The Flight 

Due to the slightly shorter flight time, we took off from Changi Airport in Singapore at a slightly later time of (time), so as to reach New York’s JFK airport on time. 

Before take off, the cabin crew came around the cabin to offer each passenger a hot towel, a welcome gesture given the long flight. Furthermore, the cabin crew also came around confirming orders by passengers who have pre-booked their meals using the ‘Book the Cook’ option. Passengers could use the ‘Book the Cook’ option to pre-select the meals for the flight, and are offered a wider range of food choices, with over 20 different food choices from different cuisines being offered. This is a step up from the usual menu choices, where passengers are limited to the 2 menus offered onboard the flight per meal. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy


Right after takeoff, we were served lunch, which consisted of either Pork Fricasse with Lentils or Thai Braised Beef Noodles. For me, since I used the ‘Book the Cook’ option, I got a Sake Teriyaki Set, which consisted of two pieces of salmon, with rice marinated in Japanese Teriyaki sauce. The dessert, which was Chocolate Orange Cake, was amazing, and ended the lunch service on a high note. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Singapore Airlines recently revamped their inflight menu services for Premium Economy, offering 175 new food items and an improved porcelain dishware. This revamp successfully managed to elevate the inflight dining experience, with the porcelain dishware and Champagne served shortly after takeoff giving a more ‘Premium’ feel for the in-flight experience. 

After the lunch service, the crew dimmed the lights to allow us as passengers to get some well needed shut-eye. One of the unique features of the Airbus A350 is it’s Mood Lighting, which enabled the cabin crews to choose from multiple colour tones to encourage passengers to sleep.

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy


Amenity kits were available upon request. The amenity kit is also part of the Singapore Airlines Premium Economy service revamp. Consisting of a eye mask, lip balm and disposable slippers, the amenity kit was a collaboration between Singapore Airlines and Out of the Woods. The amenity bag is made with an eco-friendly, innovative Kraft paper fabric. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

The shut-eye period is when the features of the Premium Economy Seat really stood out. With a generous recline angle of 8 inches, the seat proved to be well designed for everyone to get a significant amount of shut-eye onboard this ultra-long haul flight. Furthermore, there are two USB power outlets, and a power plug outlet should you wish to charge your electronic devices. 

After approximately 8 hours at 10pm Singapore Time, we were woken up for dinner. Once again, I pre booked a meal of Roasted Chicken Garlic Veloute Sauce through Book the Cook. The chicken and potato were well seasoned, and was served with a side of Citrus Tart and a salad. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy


Throughout the flight, there were various snacks available, ranging from cereal bars, peas and crackers, muffins, KitKats and even Instant Noodles. After the lunch service, the crew quickly set up a cart in the galley, where passengers could go and grab the snacks which they desired.

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Instant Noodles were available on demand. The crew were also proactive in walking through the galley, serving drinks and snacks when requested. I got a turkey sandwich, which was rather filling and was an unexpected addition as I expected only basic snacks to be available. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Approximately 2 hours before the flight landed in New York, we were served a warm Mushroom Pizza as a pre-landing snack. Given that we were about to land in New York at evening time, this snack was appropriate to be served at this hour. Not long after, we soon started our descent into New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport. 

About an hour and a half before landing, we were served a pre-landing snack of a Pizza. Well, it was definitely not the best pizza I had, but definitely not the worst. I’ll leave it for you to judge the pizza 🙂 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy


Soon, our time on the World’s longest flight came to an end, as we made our approach towards New York. Our flight path brought us on a rather scenic view of New York City. What an amazing way to start my vacation in New York! 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

In flight entertainment

The inflight entertainment has a sufficient amount of movies and TV shows, definitely sufficient to keep you entertained for the entire 18 hours of the flight. The screen was also rather responsive, and the brightness of the screen could also be modified according to personal preference. The screens were a staggering 13.3 inch, and could also be controlled with a remote control. Furthermore, Noise Cancelling Headsets were offered by Singapore Airlines, for the passengers to use to watch their movies in flight. This is definitely an upgrade from what is offered in their Economy Class Cabins, where passengers would only have a wired earpiece.

Singapore Airlines offers an extensive Inflight entertainment selection, with the latest movies and television shows which are offered onboard. Furthermore, the airline also offers free inflight WiFi to its customers who are Krisflyer members, the loyalty program of Singapore Airlines. This made the ultra-long haul journey rather bearable as passengers were now able to utilise the internet to access their emails, or even use their social media applications to stay in contact with their loved ones. For me, as an Avgeek, I used the Inflight WiFi to do some self-tracking on the FlightRadar24 application. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

One good feature of the flight was definitely the access to the in-flight map, together with a birds eye view of the places we were flying over. Singapore Airlines has this unique feature in their in-flight map, where we are able to see the ‘Heads Up Display’ from the comfort of our own screens. Furthermore, the Heads Up Display contains information about our flight, such as the Altitude and Airspeed. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Cabin Service 

The immaculate cabin service would definitely be deserving of a shoutout from me — The crews were highly attentive and took initiative in offering passengers drinks. Multiple times through the flight, the crews could be seen walking down the aisle with a tray of water, apple and orange juice, offering it to any passengers who requested it. Furthermore, the crews were highly professional and warm, greeting each passenger by their surnames and even taking time to confirm the pre-booked orders with the passengers. 

And with that, the time passed in a blink of an eye on the world’s longest flight. This flight certainly felt way quicker than some of the medium/long haul flights which I flew before. Would I do it again? Definitely! 

Enjie is currently an aviation journalist at Jetline Marvel, focusing primarily on covering topics regarding Sustainable Air Travel. Being highly passionate about the aviation industry, he showcases his talents by working together with various stakeholders in the industry.

Airlines

IndiGo to Receive Customized Compensation from Pratt & Whitney for Engine Groundings

IndiGo to Receive Customized Compensation from Pratt & Whitney for Engine Groundings

InterGlobe Aviation, the parent company of IndiGo, has reached an agreement with International Aero Engines (IAE), an affiliate of Pratt & Whitney, for customized compensation related to grounded aircraft affected by engine issues.

According to a recent PTI report, InterGlobe Aviation finalized an amendment to its existing agreement with IAE on June 14, 2024. The compensation addresses the ongoing situation where over 70 IndiGo planes have been grounded due to problems with Pratt & Whitney engines.

Specifically, more than 30 aircraft were affected by a powder metal defect, with others sidelined due to earlier issues. Although the exact financial details were not disclosed, the arrangement reflects efforts to mitigate the operational impacts faced by the airline.

Last year, Pratt & Whitney identified a rare powder metal defect that posed a risk of engine component cracking in twin-engined Airbus A320neo aircraft. This discovery necessitated accelerated inspections across affected fleets, potentially grounding 600-700 Airbus jets between 2023 and 2026.

Despite these challenges, InterGlobe Aviation reported robust financial performance in the fiscal year ending March 2024. The Gurugram-based carrier, known for its budget-friendly operations, recorded a significant increase in profit after tax to Rs 1,894.8 crore for the March quarter. This growth was driven by higher passenger traffic, expanded capacity, and favorable market conditions.

For the full fiscal year, IndiGo achieved a net profit of Rs 8,172.5 crore on a record total income of Rs 18,505.1 crore. As of March 2024, the airline operated a fleet of 367 planes, including 13 on damp lease, reinforcing its position as a dominant player in the domestic aviation sector.

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Airlines

Investigations Reveal Fake Chinese Titanium in Boeing and Airbus Jets

Investigations Reveal Fake Chinese Titanium in Boeing and Airbus Jets

Airliners manufactured by Boeing and Airbus have components made from titanium that was sold with fake documentation.

The Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) revealed the problem after Boeing reported it to the agency when it was notified by parts supplier Spirit AeroSystems. Spirit AeroSystems, the same company that made the door on the 737 Max plane which suffered a door blowout on January 5, is at the center of this issue.

The falsified documents are being investigated by Spirit AeroSystems, which supplies fuselages for Boeing and wings for Airbus, as well as the F.A.A. The investigation began after a parts supplier found small holes in the material from corrosion. Spirit was testing the metal to determine if it was up to standard and structurally sound enough.

“This is about documents that have been falsified, forged, and counterfeited,” Spirit AeroSystems stated. “Once we realized the counterfeit titanium made its way into the supply chain, we immediately contained all suspected parts to determine the scope of the issues.”

The F.A.A. said in a statement that it “will investigate further the root cause of the document traceability issue and continues to monitor closely any new developments that could potentially lead to an unsafe condition in the fleet.” The agency is trying to determine the short- and long-term safety implications for planes made using the parts. It is unclear how many planes have parts made with the questionable material.

Boeing, in its statement, reported a voluntary disclosure to the F.A.A. regarding the procurement of material through a distributor who may have falsified or provided incorrect records. “Boeing issued a bulletin outlining ways suppliers should remain alert to the potential of falsified records,” the company added.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which oversees Airbus, said it learned of the issue from authorities in Italy and began an investigation. So far, the agency said, it has not found indications of a safety problem. The problem was discovered after a parts supplier found small holes in the titanium from corrosion.

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Airlines

Turkish Airlines Expands U.S Network to 20 Destinations

Turkish Airlines Expands U.S Network to 20 Destinations

Turkish Airlines, renowned for its expansive global network, currently flies to more countries than any other carrier worldwide.

Recently, the airline has expanded its reach in the United States, bringing the total number of destinations served to 14. With the recent addition of Denver and Dallas, the airline is now setting its sights on further expansion.

In a recent interview, Turkish Airlines Chairman telegraphed the next four U.S. cities that are in their crosshairs: Philadelphia, Charlotte, Orlando, and Minneapolis. These additions will join an already impressive roster that includes Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York JFK, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington Dulles.

As of now, Turkish Airlines operates flights to 14 destinations across the United States. The confirmed destinations include Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Denver (DEN), Detroit (DTW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington (IAD).

Bolat, in his interview, indicated that Turkish Airlines plans to eventually serve 20 destinations in the United States. The proposed new routes to Philadelphia, Charlotte, Orlando, and Minneapolis would bring the total to 18, suggesting there are two additional cities potentially on the horizon.

However, it’s important to note that flights from Minneapolis and Orlando directly to Istanbul are not imminent, as the airline has not yet made any official announcements, and ticket sales have not commenced. Additionally, representatives from Minneapolis airport have not commented on the possibility of nonstop service to Istanbul.

The airline’s ambitious expansion plans are supported by the acquisition of numerous additional widebody planes over the next few years, necessitating new destinations to deploy these aircraft. Turkish Airlines’ strategy appears to be targeting major American Airlines hubs, ensuring a strong presence across key U.S. cities.

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