Singapore Airlines Eyes Return of Nonstop Flights to U.S.
Determined to revive nonstop service to the U.S., Singapore Airlines is in discussions with manufacturers Airbus and Boeing in hopes of developing a cost-effective plane that could withstand the 19-hour flight from Singapore to New York, according to Bloomberg.com.
"We, of course, want it as soon as possible," the airline's CEO Goh Choon Phong told Bloomberg Television in an interview. "There isn’t really a commercially viable aircraft that could fly nonstop."
The carrier stopped offering direct service between Singapore and New York back in November 2013 because it was losing money on the route. That decision was made just one month after Singapore Airlines ended nonstop service from Singapore to Los Angeles.
But in order to remain competitive with rival airlines in the region, Goh is looking to restore the lengthy routes. For example, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways offers direct service to San Francisco.
Singapore Airlines still serves four U.S. cities, including New York and L.A. However those flights feature stops in places like Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo and Frankfurt.
"There is lack of viable intermediate points," Goh told Bloomberg. "That’s largely because the countries concerned are not really giving us the rights to operate what we call the fifth freedom from those points to the U.S."
Still, the key to opening up nonstop service to far away destinations like New York will be embracing new technology as Goh points out. "We’re among the earlier adopters of new technology," he told Bloomberg. "That certainly puts us in a very good position to compete and also to take advantage of those technology to serve new points."
Currenty, Australia's Qantas Airways flies the world's longest nonstop route between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth. Since last fall, Qantas has operated the route with an Airbus A380, replacing the Boeing 747.
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