Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) will resume direct flights to New York on November 9, this time flying to New York JFK rather than New York Newark, the company revealed on October 20.

It will deploy A350-900s on the 3x weekly flights from Singapore Changi, which, at a scheduled 18 hours and 40 minutes, will be the world’s longest non-stop route.

The airline suspended its service to Newark in March as the coronavirus pandemic decimated travel demand. Now, however, “there are some early signs of optimism about a recovery in air travel,” explained Hsin Lik Lee, the airline’s executive vice-president commercial.

“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. This optimism is also driven by recent moves by countries such as Singapore, which are easing restrictions on both transit and inbound passengers in a safe and gradual manner,” he said.

Operating to JFK will allow Singapore Airlines to better accommodate a mix of passenger and cargo traffic to New York “in the current operating climate,” the carrier elaborated in its statement, and the route will also be supported by a “growing number” of passengers who are now able to transit at Changi.

It also anticipates significant cargo demand from industries based in the New York metro area, such as pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, and technology firms. The route will provide “the only non-stop air cargo link from the US northeast to Singapore, which serves as a regional distribution hub for many major US-based companies,” the carrier claimed.

JFK will be Singapore Airlines’ second route resumption to the Americas after Los Angeles Int'l (currently 3x weekly), and it will continue to review its operations to the US while assessing growing demand. Before the crisis, SIA also flew to San Francisco, CA, and Seattle Tacoma Int'l.

The airline currently operates 34 routes from its Changi hub, according to the ch-aviation capacities module, the busiest being to Hong Kong Int'l (23x weekly), London Heathrow (12x weekly), and Sydney Kingsford Smith (10x weekly).

Singapore Airlines Group said last week that it suffered a 98.1% decline in passenger carriage in September compared to the same month the previous year, despite the ongoing route resumptions.