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His friends ask Duane Brown if he is crazy. What he is, is an aviation fanatic who recently, with the spirit of marathoner, has pioneered the starting line, along with 160 other passengers, for the latest launch of the longest flight from the world: New York to Singapore, a journey of more than 9,500 miles linking two of the world's financial capitals in just about 19 hours.

Passenger Liz Cicco said: "My longest flight lasted 13 hours, so it will be interesting."

For Cicco and Donna Scarola, the time, it is money. They run to get to a work meeting and are willing to pay around four thousand dollars to reduce their trip by six hours.

"It makes a huge difference because we are able to get on the ground sooner than if we took a non-direct flight," Scarola said.

They enter a specially designed Airbus A350, made of composite material and carried by two engines. Singapore Airlines says its efficiency is up to 30% greater than that of the plane that it replaces and that it can stay in the air for more than 20 hours.

the longest flight-singapore-airlines-airbus-a350-620.jpg


The Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 specially designed for this very long haul flight. CBS News

Campbell Wilson, senior vice president of Singapore Airlines, said they could not follow this route without this plane. "We could do it, [but] we could not do it economically, and so that would not persist.

"So, we have been intrinsically involved in the entire design process of the aircraft – it's not about creating records, but about meeting the needs and wishes of our customers."

Nowadays, what circulars that carry business cards want is to arrive quickly and comfortably.

On board, 67 business class seats are transformed into beds. The other 94 are premium economy. So, even if you can get stuck in a middle seat, it's not as narrow as the coach seat in which you usually have to get stuck.



A lot of time to do the work. CBS News

Chief Anthony McNeil. Singapore Air's Director of Food and Beverages said, "The idea is that we want to get you there in optimal conditions."

In an effort to combat jet lag, the airline is focusing on nutrition, with a special low-sodium and carbohydrate menu designed with Canyon Ranch wellness experts.

"The philosophy we adopted with this particular flight is smaller portions, at more regular intervals," said McNeil.

"Why smaller portions more often?" asked the correspondent Kris Van Cleave.

"This gives you enthusiasm, but also an interaction with the crew, as well as the culinary experience with those on board and the interaction of the kitchens. This will last for a flying experience much nicer. "

The airline also delivers exercise videos embedded in the seat to the passengers to allow them to run the blood.



Time for S-T-R-E-T-C-H! CBS News

It takes 13 flight attendants and two groups of pilots to launch this show. There is even a quarter shift at 30,000 feet. And the crew can spend their rest time in the crew rest area, out of the reach of passengers.

Captain Ray Chowdry showed Van Cleave their flight path that had led them to the top of the world, offering an air route in the Arctic.

Van Cleave asked, "Is it different to make 19 hours than four, seven or eight hours?"

The story continues

"On a longer flight like this, you have to manage your rest, your level of fatigue, your concentration," said Captain Chowdry.

This is also an endurance test for passengers. Van Cleave eats, watches a movie, sleeps, looks at another movie, reads an entire newspaper, eats again – and still has 10 hours left.



Many small meals interrupt the trip. CBS News

He asked Donna Scarola, "Are you still bored?"

"No," she replied, "because I'm a mother of three, so having that time for me is actually pretty cool!"

Duane Brown, the "fanatic of aviation," said: "Even if it's only 16, 17 or 18 hours, I can not wait for the 20-hour flight! " he smiled.



"Are we here already?" CBS News

To refresh everyone, the cabin has 16.7 million light combinations to simulate different times of the day. Nevertheless, the marathon flight and the change of time of 12 hours have adverse consequences.

But they managed, even crossing the finish line early, to the delight of Scarola.

How did she feel? Jet delayed? Tired? "A little tired, dehydrated," she replied. "I probably need to drink a lot more water, but other than that, I'm ready to explore Singapore."

This means that the time saved on this seemingly endless flight is well worth the trip.



CBS News

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Story produced by Christina Ruffini.

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