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Singapore Air cancels world’s longest flight

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A340-500 (Photo: Muhammad Ector Prasetyo)

I know that this is going to crush a lot of frequent travel dreams out there, but here goes- This sad story just in from AP: The world’s longest commercial flight — Singapore to Newark, N.J. — is being cancelled.

Singapore Airlines announced Wednesday that it will end its nonstop flight between Singapore and Newark, a distance of about 9,500 miles. A slightly shorter route between Singapore and Los Angeles will also end. The two routes were flown on gas-guzzling Airbus A340-500s.

The airline found the only way to make the routes profitable was by configuring the plane with 98 business class seats that sell for about $8,000 roundtrip. Other airlines operate the same plane with about 250 seats in first, business and economy classes.

The flight from Newark, right outside New York, to Singapore takes about 18 hours. The trip from Los Angeles is about 1,500 miles shorter but takes 18 hours and 30 minutes.

Here’s the full, sad story from AP: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/singapore-airlines-end-worlds-longest-flights

How does this make you feel? Did you dream of one day taking this flight? How does 18.5 hours onboard an aircraft sound to you…even if it’s posh Singapore Air business class? Please leave your comments below. 

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For a limited period, San Francisco passengers will have the opportunity to experience spacious luxury onboard the world’s largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380 on flights to Asia.  Between December 28, 2012 and March 24, 2013, Singapore Airlines will pop into town with daily “Pop-Up” A380 flights between San Francisco and Singapore via Hong Kong.  Flip through this slideshow to see its famous Suites and the widest Business Class seats in the sky.

SQ1 departs SFO at 10:50 pm and arrives in Hong Kong at 5:50 am two days later. Flight time is about 13 hours to Hong Kong, and with another 3.5 hours to Singapore, you’ll have plenty of time to soak up the luxury and explore the 1000+ onboard entertainment options.  SQ2 arrives daily in SFO at 7:45 pm on the same day it departs from Singapore and Hong Kong.

Video: Lufthansa shows off its new baby: Boeing 747-8I. Wow!

Wow! This week Lufthansa took delivery of its biggest new baby, the Boeing 747-8I. What a beautiful bird! Take a look at the excellent video above and keep in mind the following:

>Lufthansa is the first commercial airline to fly the 747-8I. The first 747-8i will fly between Washington-Dulles and Frankfurt. Lufthansa says that there are no current plans to bring it to San Francisco. However, it will soon be flying between Los Angeles LAX, Chicago ORD and Frankfurt. Lufthansa has 20 of these planes on order- five more will arrive this year.

Lufthansa's new business class seat is true lie-flat, but is angled inward. (Photo: Lufthansa)

>The 747-8I sports Lufthansa’s brand new true lie-flat business class product. (See video for a good close look.) What’s most unusual about the new biz class is how seats are angled slightly inward. (See video. I reserve judgement on this until I actually spend 10 hours on a plane, angled slightly toward a stranger…) This is great news since Lufthansa’s angled lie-flat seats (on the A380s, 747-400s and A340s it flies into SFO) get low marks for comfort. Eventually, all aircraft will be fitted with the newer business class, but it’s going to take 2-3 years.

>The economy class seat is identical to that found on Lufthansa’s A380. On the 747-8I, the layout in coach is 3-4-3 with 31 inches of pitch.

Serrated edges on the engines. Cool! (Photo: Lufthansa)

>Plane spotters will know that they are looking at a 747-8I when they see: engines with serrated edges (just like the new 787) and the lack of winglets that are found on the 747-400. (Boeing says the new wings have “raked wingtips.”)

>The new 747-8I flies more quietly, burns less fuel and therefore has fewer emissions that earlier versions.

>The fuselage on the 747-8i is 250 feet, 2 inches long- that’s 18 feet, four inches longer than the 747-400. It’s now the longest passenger aircraft in the world…about three feet longer than the Airbus A340-600.

>Lufthansa’s version of the 747-8I will have eight first class, 92 business class and 262 economy class seats.  First class is in the nose of the plane on the main deck. Business class is upstairs and downstairs.

>The list price for a Boeing 747-8I is about $300 million.

The first Lufthansa 747-8I takes off from the Boeing plant in Everett, WA bound for Frankfurt