One of the world’s longest flights, New York to Singapore, to return. Hopeful sign for air travel?

One of the world’s longest flights is going to be restored next month, a hopeful sign for Americans anxious for global travel who aren’t deterred by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Singapore Airlines announced Tuesday it is bringing back its nonstop between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Singapore’s Changi Airport, flying three times a week starting Nov. 9. 

At a scheduled 18 hours, 40 minutes, the flight is few minutes shy of the airline’s longest from the U.S., the Newark, New Jersey, to Singapore route, which remains suspended.

But airline officials say the time is right to add an East Coast ultralong counterpart to nonstops it has continued to operate between Los Angeles and Singapore, scheduled at a little less than 18 hours in the air. Only Singapore citizens or those with long-term passes, however, have been allowed into the country.

Though Singapore shut its borders months ago, the Southeast Asian trading center has been gradually easing restrictions to allow foreigners to transit to other countries through its airport, Bloomberg News reported. 

Aside from travel restrictions, there’s also the issue of safety aboard on an ultralong flight when fears still abound about the chances of being infected by the virus. The airline hopes passengers will be reassured by its enhanced cleaning schedules, the air filtration systems it uses aboard the Airbus A350-900 jetliners it uses for the ultralong flights and face mask requirements.

“There are some early signs of optimism about a recovery in air travel,” Lee Lik Hsin, an executive vice president for Singapore Airlines, said in a statement. “Our customers say that they are increasingly confident about air travel, given the robust health and safety measures that are in place, as well as testing regimes to protect them and our staff.”

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