Singapore Airlines Ltd. will restart 19-hour non-stop flights to New York next month, betting that demand will recover as the coronavirus pandemic eases in its home country.
The airline will use its Airbus SE A350 aircraft for the world’s longest flight, with three weekly services starting Nov. 9 from Changi Airport to John F. Kennedy International, according to an emailed statement from the carrier Tuesday. Until March 23, it operated non-stop flights to Newark Liberty International in New Jersey and still offers direct services to Los Angeles.
Singapore is looking at ways to open its borders to help the aviation and tourism industries decimated by the outbreak. The city-state has agreed with Hong Kong to allow their residents to fly between the financial hubs as the two cities don’t have a domestic market to fall back on. Singapore has made no such arrangements with the U.S. though.
“Despite the challenging times for the airline industry, there are some early signs of optimism about a recovery in air travel,” said Lee Lik Hsin, executive vice president for commercial. “We will continue to ramp up existing services and reinstate other points as the demand for both passenger and cargo services return.”
Singapore Airlines said it is expecting “significant” cargo demand for the New York flights, helped by e-commerce and pharmaceutical products, among others.