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World’s longest flight departs Singapore for New York

Singapore: The world´s longest commercial flight took off from Singapore on Thursday, with excited and apprehensive passengers on board settling in for a marathon 19 hours in the air to New York.

A spokeswoman for Airlines told AFP that Flight SQ22 departed at approximately 11:35pm (1535 GMT) with 150 passengers and 17 crew on board.

Two pilots, a special “wellness” menu and more than seven weeks´ worth of film and television entertainment accompany the travellers on the 16,700-kilometre (10,400-mile) journey to the Big Apple.

The long-range Airbus A350-900ULR is configured to carry up to 161 passengers — 67 in business class and 94 in premium economy, with no regular economy seats available.

For the flight crew — which also includes two first officers and a 13-strong cabin contingent — the workload will be broken up, the airline said, with each pilot having a minimum eight hours´ rest during the flight.

But for passengers, the challenge will be what to do with all that down time when they´re up in the air.

For those not packing a weighty novel (or two), there will be 1,200 hours of audio-visual entertainment to choose from.

Dining options will include dishes the airline says have been selected to promote well-being in the skies, with organic offerings on the menu.

Passenger Peggy Ang, 52, said before the flight that she felt “apprehensive because I´m not sure what would I do in 18.5 hours” inside the plane.

“Now that you asked me, I´m a little bit worried. I´m thinking of sleeping, watching TV, doing my work,” she told reporters after checking in at Changi Airport for the flight.

“I have a lot of notes to read, hopefully I can sleep well,” said Ang, a membership director of an IT services firm.

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