As many of us know, the longest non-stop commercial flight in the world operated between Singapore and New York with flight number SQ21. This flight was operated by Airbus A340-500 and the flight duration was about 19 hours. Why did Singapore Airlines decide to cancel this route?
It was fairly widely reported that fuel costs made the flights uneconomical. The maintenance of the A340-500s SIA retained specifically for the flight also contributed, as they only had five A340-500s.
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. Some SIA executives were also questioning why the carrier was going to the trouble of maintaining such a small fleet of A340s.
Snyder and most other experts suspect the airline got tired of dealing with poor profit margins on the fuel-guzzling four-engine Airbus A340. "They do use a ton of fuel, and that's always painful," says Snyder.