There’s a Tweet acquiring a bit of fist in the aviation people today that i figured would certainly be funny to highlight.

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How empty is the world’s longest flight?

The longest nonstop flight in the world is Singapore Airlines’ service between Singapore (SIN) and brand-new York (JFK), i beg your pardon is one ~18 hour trip that covers a distance of 9,537 miles. This flight is so long that it has to be operated by a especially configured A350-900ULR v extra fuel capacity.

Well, a Twitter user who is right now on SQ24 bound for new York shares that there are a complete of simply 11 passenger on the entire plane.


For context:

There space 13 crew members (nine cabin crew and also four pilots), therefore that means crew members outnumber passengers

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Business course on the Singapore airline A350-900ULR

Is this route usually so empty?

Singapore Airlines at this time operates the world’s longest trip daily, so is it normal for over there to be simply 11 passengers on this flight? if actual flight loads aren’t public info, we can look in ~ seatmaps because that flights. Seatmaps in development aren’t a 100% precise indicator the how full flights room (since people can publication without selecting seats), yet they provide you a great sense, and in this situation I’d to speak it’s largely accurate.

Looking at the Singapore to brand-new York trip over the next few days:

Wednesday’s trip has 20 seat assigned — 10 in company class, 10 in premium economyThursday’s flight has 33 seats assigned — 5 in service class, 28 in premium economyFriday’s trip has 25 seat assigned — 6 in business class, 19 in premium economy

And just to look in ~ a trip a week native the present one that’s therefore empty, it has 14 seats assigned — 4 in company class, and 10 in premium economy.


So while 11 passengers is certainly on the low side, the does appear that this trip is consistently much less than 20% full. At some point that’s not as well surprising:

Singapore has among the tightest entry demands of any type of country; many foreigners aren’t enabled to enter, and also Singaporean residents and also nationals should quarantine ~ above arrivalWhile passengers can transit Singapore enroute to details destinations, Singapore Airlines’ course network is fairly limited at the moment

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Singapore isn’t open up to many foreigners ideal now

Why is the airline bothering to operate this route?

Some logical inquiries emerge around this:

Is the airline shedding as much money on this course as we’d assume?Is it completely unconscionable to waste this lot fuel paris a dozen world halfway approximately the world?

The reality is that while residential US flights space packed nowadays, many flights between countries through border constraints don’t have countless passengers on them. Fairly these flights are operating generally to deliver cargo, i beg your pardon still requirements to get between countries. In some instances airlines are transporting vaccines and also other essential, time-sensitive goods.

Singapore Airlines had suspended this path at the start of the pandemic, and also resumed it in November 2020. Once the airline resumed this route, it provided that cargo to be a major motivator:

SIA additionally anticipates significant cargo demand from a range of sectors based in the new York metro area, including pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and technology firms. The brand-new service will administer the only non-stop air cargo connect from the U.S. Northeast come Singapore, i m sorry serves together a local distribution hub for many major U.S.-based companies.

So it’s clean this course is largely around cargo, though I’d still it is in fascinated come learn more about the logistics:

Under normal circumstances this flight couldn’t bring much cargo because it’s close to the best takeoff weight with simply passengers and also fuelWith fewer passengers there’s room for an ext cargo, yet how much cargo room we talk about?Is this cargo lucrative enough to do the route financially rewarding even with simply a pair dozen passengers?

Bottom line

Singapore Airlines continues to operate the world’s longest flight daily, even though it has actually very couple of passengers.

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Many global flights recently are mainly transporting cargo, yet this flight is distinct for a couple of reasons. It’s the world’s longest flight, and it’s operated by a particularly configured plane that usually can’t carry much cargo due to weight restrictions. Ns imagine the impact of cargo on this path has adjusted significantly in recent months.

Anyone have a better sense of how much cargo Singapore airline can bring on this path with so couple of passengers flying, and if that’s sufficient to do this route rewarding (or at the very least not shed bundles that money)?