United Airlines has announced that it is now the proud provider of the longest regularly scheduled route by a US carrier, according to an article on USA Today. The route may also be a contender for the world’s longest flying time.
The airline introduced a new nonstop route covering a distance of 7,800 miles between Los Angeles and Singapore. It’s not actually the world’s longest distance, those milestones are taken by Qatar Airways’ Doha-Auckland route of 9,032 miles and Emirates’ Dubai-Auckland route of 8,819 miles. It does seem to be the longest flying time however, clocking in at 17 hours and 55 minutes, thanks to strong headwinds. The return flight from Singapore to Los Angeles is a much more reasonable 15 hours and 15 minutes.
The 18-hour flight marks one of several long-haul flights that United has introduced in the past two years. Before the new route was introduced, Qantas’ 8,576-mile route between Dallas/Fort Worth and Sydney had been the longest flight to or from the U.S. Among domestic airlines, the former longest route title holder also belonged to United; the flight between San Francisco and Singapore.
Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president – International Planning previously said that the “prestigious” flight is the “longest route from the US to anywhere in the world.”
The route is among the latest offerings available at LAX, an airport that has seen many airlines add additional routes as an effort to beat the competition. The title likely won’t last long as Singapore Airlines has announced plans to launch its own nonstop route with service between Singapore and Los Angeles, which is also what the Asian airline did after United began offering routes between San Francisco and Singapore.
Only select models of aircraft are suitable to make the long flights and United utilizes versions of the Dreamliner 787-9 for the purpose. With the new route, United now has another option for travelers doing business in Singapore.