Long flights are back in fashion, with non-stop direct flights between Australia and the United Kingdom, enabled by more fuel-efficient planes such as the A350 from Airbus or the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The race is hotting up to compete for this new breed of ultra long-haul customers.
Recently, Singapore Airlines introduced their Airbus A350-900 flight between Singapore Changi Airport and New York’s Newark Airport, which is a distance of 9,521 miles. Launching in October 2018, this flight will clock in shy of 19 hours at 18h 45 minutes. That is a long time to be in the air, so what do Singapore airlines intend on doing to improve your flight experience?
First of all, there is going to be a rearrangement of cabin classes. Classic ‘Economy’ will not be available on the flight. The cabins will start at ‘Premium Economy’ and work their way up to ‘Business Class’. There will be several other changes in order to accommodate the incredibly long flight, and the jetlag from the copious amount of hours spent in a cabin. It’s worth noting that Singapore Airlines is already a great airline with several awards to their name and they are well known for their fantastic service and innovation.
One Singapore Airlines idea is to add spa-like features to the long haul flight, to try and make everything from the food to other amenities encourage rest and relaxation. The wellness upgrades are being developed in conjunction with Canyon Ranch Resorts and Spa. The in-flight food menu will be focused on nutrition in order to keep fliers hydrated on the flight, with umami effects for the dishes for improved taste. Sample dishes include ceviche and lavosh, on a menu which is ‘clean and fresh’ as described by Canyon Ranch.
In addition, there will be flexible meal times for all business class travellers, so if you’re not hungry at the ‘usual’ time that they wheel out the cart you can politely decline, and you do not need to be awake in order to eat. There will be Canyon Ranch stretching and exercise videos provided in the seat-back in-flight entertainment, to keep you from getting stiff on your flight.
Amenities will also see an upgrade with more comfortable eye-masks in all cabins, this will also be combined with sleep strategies such as red, yellow and orange ambient light to help you unwind and get to sleep quicker.
Singapore Airlines has done a fantastic job making a 19-hour flight more accessible and it has us tempted. Additional non-stop flights from Singapore to Los Angeles will launch in 2019.