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Singapore Air makes longest flight


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Water cannons greet the arrival of flight SQ22 at Newark airport after a non-stop journey of 18.5 hours from Singapore.
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SINGAPORE -- Singapore Airlines has completed the world's longest commercial passenger flight, touching down in Newark, New Jersey after a flight of more than 18.5 hours from Singapore.

The airline used an Airbus A340-500 configured to carry 181 passengers on the ultra long-haul route of more than 16,600 kilometers (about 10,000 miles) over the North Pacific.

Passengers of fully-booked flight SQ22 boarded the plane in Singapore at midday on Monday to the strains of Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York," landing in New York's Newark airport on Monday evening.

It has additional space in both economy and business class, with passengers able to access a self-service snack area, as well as a place to mingle and stretch their legs.

The non-stop flight saves up to four hours in travel time over the airline's previous Singapore-New York service, which made a refueling stopover in Amsterdam.

The new flight beats the current longest flight both in terms of flying time and distance covered, an airline spokeswoman told The Associated Press.

The previous record was also held by Singapore Airlines for its Los Angeles service, which covers the 14,762 kilometers (9,173 miles) in 16 hours, she said.

The airline placed a $2.2 billion order in 1998 for 10 Airbus A340-500s in 1998 -- five on firm order and five on option, along with associated spare parts and engines. The aircraft is powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 553 engines.



Copyright 2004 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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