United Airlines has commenced direct services on the San Francisco-Singapore route using Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
The first non-stop service between the two cities landed at Changi International Airport on the morning of Friday 3 June, says the carrier in a statement.
“United is proud to play our part in Singapore aviation history by launching the first-ever nonstop service to San Francisco, and to be the only airline offering nonstop service between Singapore and the United States,” says Marcel Fuchs, vice president of Atlantic and Pacific sales.
The Chicago-based Star Alliance carrier will operate the 7,339nm (8,446 miles) route daily. Eastbound flights are scheduled at 15h 30min and westbound flights at 16h 20min.
The flight is the first direct USA-Singapore flight after Singapore Airlines ceased its Singapore-Newark service in November 2013. Operated with Airbus A340-500 aircraft equipped with 100 business class seats, the ultra-long haul route proved unprofitable.
United’s 787-9 has 252 seats: 48 in business and 204 in economy.
The US carrier is likely to have a monopoly on the route at least until 2018, when SIA is due to receive Airbus A350-900ULR, a longer-range version that can carry 165,000l of fuel, compared with 141,000 for the baseline A350-900.
SIA will get seven examples. Its first destination with the new aircraft will be New York in 2018, with Los Angeles to follow later.