A340-500, SIA and the Crazy Ultra Long Haul Flights. January 31 2015
The A350-500 is the best looking A340 around. With more "muscle" (bigger engines) than the A340-300 and fitting right between the A340-300 and the A340-600 (looking at bit too long) the A340-500 was fit to fly very specialized missions.
Singapore Airlines was operating two of the most extreme (nonstop) city pairs:
- Singapore - New York (Newark) at 8,285 nautical miles, the longest by distance) passing through China - Siberia - the North Pole - Canada
- Singapore - Los Angeles at 18 hours and 30 mins the longest by duration passing through the Pacific Ocean
The Singapore - New York pair was discontinued in November 2013. One interesting thing about this flight, SQ-21 (SQ-22 in the return flight) was that it was configured to be an all business class (there were only 100 business class seats for the whole plane).
The Singapore - Los Angeles flight is no longer nonstop since it makes stop at Tokyo/Narita.
So, would one prefer to do a 16+ hour nonstop flight or do a quick stop somewhere in between? Keep in mind that a quick stop would probably add, at minimum, 4 hours to the total travel time.