Chicago-based United Airlines announced the longest nonstop flight of any U.S. carrier last week with the unveiling of flight 37 from Los Angeles to Singapore. The journey will boast 17 hours and 55 minutes in flight over 8700 miles from east to west — and that time doesn’t even including boarding and taxi time. The airline made the announcement in its newsroom.
Flight 37 and the returning flight 38 from Singapore to Los Angeles will be operated on a 787 Dreamliner, the most recent airframe from Boeing that’s optimized for efficient, long haul flight. In addition to high efficiency engines and a composite frame, the aircraft is also engineered to make longer journeys more tolerable for passengers by delivering better in-flight air pressure and humidity.
With its new service, United will soon operate two of the top five longest flights in the world. The carrier’s flight from San Francisco to Singapore, which clocks in at 8446 miles, is the other longest flight. Currently, the longest flight in the world according to OAG, a provider of digital flight information, is operated by Qatar Airways between Qatar and Auckland, New Zealand. That flight spans just over 9000 miles.
Operating the longest flight of any U.S. carrier is a bit of a matter of prestige for the airline and the community; Gulf carriers frequently spar over the longest route operated in the world, even if one is just a few miles longer than the other. According to OAG, Delta Air Lines is the only other U.S. carrier to operate a flight on the top 10 longest flights in the world. That route goes from Atlanta to Johannesburg, a span of 8434 miles.
That United’s new flight will operated by a 787 Dreamliner is also key to the announcement. Boeing sells the Dreamliner as a high efficiency, long haul option to carriers and to have this validated by recordbreaking flights only underscores the aircraft’s values. Among OAG’s top 10 routes, only United’s other flight from San Francisco to Singapore is operated by a 787. Five of the flights are operated on a Boeing 777 series aircraft while three are operated on an Airbus 380 series. Outside of Delta’s and United’s flights, the rest are operated by Gulf carriers.
Service from Los Angeles is slated to begin on October 27th later this year and is subject to regulatory approval. Until then, passengers looking for a longest-flight fix can always fly United’s route from San Francisco to Singapore.