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Fri, Feb 06, 2004

A340-500 Completes World's Longest Commercial Nonstop Flight

Singapore Airlines Juggles Weight, Seating Issues

On Wednesday, a Singapore Airlines A340-500 conducted a flight from Singapore to Los Angeles, the world’s longest commercial nonstop flight. The 14,762-km (9,172 mi) flight was completed in 15 hr.--1 hr. less than the scheduled journey time because of favorable winds.

The return trip is expected to cover the 14,700-km return (9,134 mi) journey in 18 hr. 20 min. SIA operates daily nonstop service between Singapore and Los Angeles. The A340-500 flying the route, while designed for 320 passengers, is configured for 181 seats--64 in business class and 117 in Executive Economy.

The limited seating reflects both the additional legroom required in economy for the long flights and the performance shortfall on the initial production aircraft, according to SIA officials. The carrier has not been able to install its first-class beds because of that weight penalty. The original SIA specification for the A340-500 called for 210 seats.

The airline will launch Singapore-New York nonstops in mid-2004.

FMI: www.singaporeair.com

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