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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Longest flight ready for take off
Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines has revealed plans for the world's longest nonstop commercial flight, which should take to the skies on 3 February, 2004.

It means passengers will be able to fly directly between Singapore and Los Angeles without having to disembark at Tokyo or Taipei airports while their plane is refuelled.

Potential flyers will need to have the stamina to endure 16 hours on board their aircraft on the journey to the United States, while the flight back to the Far East will take a whopping 18 hours and 20 minutes.

Michael Tan, a senior executive vice president at the airline, said: "We acknowledge that the flight is long, therefore we have to focus a lot of our attention on the comforts and space in the aircraft."

North Pole

In order to make the flight of more than 8,000 air miles more comfortable, the airline is promising more spacious seating on its new fleet of ultra-long-range Airbus 340-500 aircraft.

There will also be upgraded in-flight entertainment facilities and passenger corners in both the business class and executive economy class cabins, where passengers can recreate the golden age of passenger flights and gather to socialize.

Tickets for the non-stop flight will be priced at 5-10% above the cost of a one-stop ticket.

The airline, which will receive its first Airbus A340-500 in December 2003, plans to expand its nonstop services to include flights to New York from August 2004.

That service will route passengers over the North Pole and require two full sets of cabin crew.

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