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United Airways is now flying the longest route of ever flown by a U.S. provider and one which’s a contender for the title of world’s longest by flying time. 

The Chicago-based airline formally claimed these superlatives late Friday, when it launched continuous service on the eight,700-mile route connecting Los Angeles and Singapore.

By distance, it’s not the world’s longest – however it’s shut. Qatar Airways’ Doha-Auckland route (9,032 miles) and Emirates’ Dubai-Auckland route (eight,819 miles) stay the 2 longest as measured by the most-direct continuous routing between the cities served.  

By scheduled flying time, nevertheless, United’s LAX-Singapore is maybe the world’s longest. Going through sometimes sturdy headwinds on the westbound route, United’s flight within the route of Singapore has a whopping scheduled flying time of 17 hours, 55 minutes.

That tops Qatar Airways’ printed flying time of 17 hours, 40 minutes for its 9,032-mile flight from Auckland, New Zealand, to Doha, Qatar — a route that is presently thought to be the world’s longest by time. 

United’s eastbound return to L.A. is scheduled for 15 hours, 15 minutes.

The Singapore-L.A. route is one among a number of extremely long-haul routes introduced by United in the course of the previous two years.

IN PICTURES: The world’s 25 longest airline routes, by distance (story continues beneath)

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Previous to Friday’s launch of L.A.-Singapore flights, Qantas’ eight,576-mile route between Dallas/Fort Price and Sydney had been the longest flight to or from the U.S. 

Amongst its home rivals, United already flew the longest continuous route of any U.S. airline: an eight,446-mile flight from San Francisco to Singapore that started in June 2016.  

However, with the brand new L.A.-Singapore route, United is now alone.

“It’s the longest route from the U.S. to wherever on the earth,” Patrick Quayle, United’s vice chairman – Worldwide Planning, instructed USA TODAY’s Immediately within the Sky weblog concerning the route when it was introduced in June. “It’s undoubtedly prestigious.”

And there’s one more superlative for United’s new L.A.-Singapore service: It additionally turns into the world’s longest frequently scheduled path to be flown with a Boeing 787 “Dreamliner.” United already held that title, too, with its current San Francisco-Singapore route.

IN PHOTOS: These are the longest flights flown by U.S. airways (story continues beneath)

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United is flying each of its California-Singapore routes with the 787-9 variant of the Dreamliner.

“The 787-9 permits United Airways the distinctive alternatives of opening up lengthy skinny routes that we might not have been in a position to serve continuous with out this particular plane,” Quayle mentioned.

United’s new service comes as U.S. airways have been battling for marketshare at Los Angeles Worldwide — by far probably the most fragmented of the USA’s largest airports. American and Delta every have been including new home and abroad routes there. Alaska Airways’ merger with Virgin America strengthens its place there by rising its schedule of North American flights.

For United, it provides to the provider’s already formidable presence throughout the Pacific by giving it two U.S. non-stops to one among Asia’s most-important enterprise locations.

ARCHIVES: United now flying continuous from San Francisco to Singapore

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“What makes United distinctive is our Asia-Pacific community,” Quayle mentioned. “This Singapore flight is only a additional instance of solidifying that presence from our Los Angeles hub.”

Nevertheless, whereas United can presently benefit from the “longest U.S. flight bragging rights,” that possible received’t final lengthy.

Singapore Airways mentioned it intends to restart service from each Los Angeles and Singapore when it begins flying new “extremely long-range” Airbus jets in 2018. Singapore Airways had beforehand flown continuous on these routes, however ended them in 2013 because it retired its older Airbus A340-500 plane.

Singapore Airways additionally wasted little time in including its personal San Francisco-Singapore route after United did the identical.

TODAY IN THE SKY: The fleet and hubs of United Airways, by the quantity

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