Singapore Airlines announced it will be updating its fleet, a move that will result in the cancellation of the longest nonstop flights currently offered by any airline in the world.
USA Today reports that when those nonstop routes retire, the long distance trophies — currently held by SIA's Singapore-Newark and Singapore-Los Angeles flights — will go to Qantas for service between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth, and to Delta for the Atlanta to Johannesburg commute.
The nonstops were long, "18.5 hours to Newark's Liberty Airport and 16 hours to Los Angeles International Airport," reports The Wall Street Journal.
With Thai Airways ending direct service between Los Angeles and Bangkok earlier this year, Southeast Asia's two main aviation hubs are now without nonstop service to North America.
SIA's new airplane order, which includes the buyback of five A340-500s by Airbus, is detailed in the company's news release:
Singapore Airlines has agreed to order five more Airbus A380s and another 20 A350s for additional capacity growth and fleet renewal...The firm order commitments are valued at US$7.5 billion based on Airbus’ published list prices. Deliveries are due to begin in 2017...With the new commitments announced today, SIA will have firm purchase or lease orders in place with Airbus and Boeing for 68 new widebody aircraft, including 15 additional A330-300s and eight additional B777-300ERs ordered last year.
SIA CEO, Goh Choon announced that, "Although disappointing that we will be halting these services, we remain very committed to the US market," and calls the company's route reconfiguration a commitment to keeping a modern fleet.
Additionally, SIA's decision to dump the A340s addresses a financial drag. "It is widely known in the industry that SIA's A340-500 non-stop flights to the U.S. are unprofitable, because of the four-engined aircraft's higher fuel burn," reports Aviation Week.