NEW YORK - Singapore Airlines has signed an agreement to be the launch customer for a new ultra-long-range variant of the Airbus A350 aircraft, to resume the non-stop flights between Singapore and the United States.

Singapore Airlines has 63 Airbus A350-900 aircraft on firm order and the new agreement with Airbus will see seven of these upgraded to orders for the A350-900ULR, which will have a range of up to 8,700 nautical miles. 

Deliveries of the Airbus A350-900ULR aircraft are scheduled to take place in 2018, to re-launch of the  non-stop flights, between Singapore and both Los Angeles and New York. The aircraft will be fitted with new cabin products currently under development.

The airline also has 20 purchase options, four of which will be converted into firm Airbus A350-900 orders. This will increase to 67 the total number of Airbus A350s aircraft on firm order with Airbus, plus the 16 options.

The agreement comes as Singapore Airlines is preparing to take delivery of its first A350-900 early in 2016.

Singapore Airlines operated non-stop flights between Singapore and both Los Angeles and New York until 2013, when the Airbus A340-500 aircraft that were used for the services were retired.

Non-stop flights between Singapore and additional points in the U.S. are also under consideration, according the a statement by the airline

Goh Choon Phong, Singapore Airlines chief executive officer, said: “Our customers have been asking us to re-start non-stop Singapore-U.S. flights and we are pleased that Airbus was able to offer the right aircraft to do so in a commercially viable manner.
 
“This is another example of how we strive to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations by remaining at the forefront of product and service innovation in our industry. It will also further strengthen the Singapore hub by providing the fastest and most convenient air connectivity between North America and Southeast Asia.”

Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and chief executive officer, added, “We are excited to be working with Singapore Airlines to re-launch its premium non-stop service to the U.S. The A350 is the perfect, flexible platform for such operations, offering unrivaled operating economics for the very longest routes. 

"And the wider and quieter cabin will provide the perfect environment for passengers to enjoy the world-famous Singapore Airlines in-flight product.”