Ultra long-haul refers to the flight length of a flight being "ultra long". While there is no universally accepted definition for what is considered ultra long haul, the term generally refers to flights that are 12 hours or longer. These flights usually follow a great circle route, often passing over a polar region. In some cases, non-stop ultra long-haul routes could be less preferable to stopover flights as passengers on ultra long-haul non-stop flights must sit in the aircraft for many consecutive hours. A low oil price environment would favour the establishment of ultra long-haul flights. The current longest commercial flight in the world is Singapore Airlines' SQ22 which flies from Singapore to Newark. 
This section, which introduce the general developmental history of ultra long haul flight in world aviation history instead of particular examples, contains an enumeration of examples, but lacks a general overview of its topic. You can help by adding an appropriate introductory section. Editing help is available. (February 2017)
From 1943 to 1945, Qantas operated "The Double Sunrise", a weekly 5,650-kilometre (3,050 nmi) flight between Perth, Australia and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), with average flight times of 28 (maximum of 33) hours using a Consolidated PBY Catalina.
On 1–2 October 1957, a Trans World Airlines Lockheed L-1649 Starliner, the ultimate piston-engine airliner in terms of range and endurance, flew the inaugural 8,640-kilometre (4,670 nmi) London–San Francisco polar route in 23 hours, 19 minutes.
In June 1961, El Al began a 9,270 kilometres (5,010 nmi) route from New York City to Tel Aviv. Previously tested in December 1957 on trial runs with a Bristol Britannia, the scheduled flight used a Boeing 707 and averaged 9 hours, 33 minutes.
In February 1963, Aeroflot started a Moscow-Havana flight via Murmansk with its Tu-114D. It is around 16 hours from Havana to Murmansk, the longest for a turboprop scheduled flight.
In August 1967, Aerolineas Argentinas established non-stop Boeing 707 service on a 10,062-kilometre (5,433 nmi) route between Madrid and Buenos Aires, with a flight time of 12 hours. This route was the longest scheduled flight by distance until 1976, when the Boeing 747SP entered service. In April 1976, Pan Am set the new record with its 10,854-kilometre (5,861 nmi) JFK–Tokyo route. In December, the airline set another record with Sydney–San Francisco, covering 11,937 kilometres (6,445 nmi).
The dissolution of the Soviet Union eventually opened the airspace over Russia, allowing new circumpolar routes to come into use for commercial airlines. On 1 March 2001, Continental Airlines launched a 13,578-kilometre (7,332 nmi) non-stop service from Newark to Hong Kong—the first non-stop, long-haul route for any airline with a flying duration exceeding 16 hours. A few days later, United Airlines started its own JFK-Hong Kong service, adding 3 kilometers to the distance.
On 3 February 2004, Singapore Airlines introduced a 14,113-kilometre (7,620 nmi) flight from Singapore to Los Angeles, scheduled for 16 hours, 30 minutes in the summer, 15 hours, 35 minutes in the winter. It took 17 hours, 20 minutes in summer and 18 hours, 5 minutes in winter on the return trip.
In June 2004, Singapore Airlines introduced Flight SQ 21, using the Airbus A340-500 (now a Airbus A350-900ULR since October 2018) on a 15,344-kilometre (8,285 nmi) great circle route from Newark to Singapore, passing within 130 kilometres (70 nmi) of the North Pole, taking a little over 18 hours. This was immediately surpassed by return Flight SQ 22, which flew the current record of 16,600-kilometre (9,000 nmi) back to Newark. Despite the greater distance, Flight SQ 22 averaged a slightly shorter 17 hours, 45 minutes because of prevailing high-altitude winds.
In the late 2000s/early 2010s, rapidly rising fuel prices, coupled with an economic crisis, resulted in cancellation of many ultra-long haul non-stop flights. This included the services provided by Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Newark and Los Angeles, as well as similar lengthy flights from New York to both Mumbai and Bangkok.
However, in recent years the fuel prices have fallen back and more economical aircraft have been introduced to the market. The economics of ultra long-haul flights improved with more and more distant markets being served by new services. On 2 December 2015, Air India launched a nonstop flight from Delhi to San Francisco, which was the world's longest flight by distance at 15,128 kilometres (8,168 nmi). Similar lengthy flights have been launched from Auckland to both Doha and Dubai in the past 2 years, as well as new double-daily service by United and Singapore Airlines from San Francisco to Singapore. As of October 2018, Singapore Airlines currently operates the world's longest flight by distance from Singapore to Newark at 15,357 kilometres (8,292 nmi).
The longest range Airbus jetliner in service is the A350 XWB Ultra Long Range, capable of flying up to 18,000 km (9,700 nmi). The A380 is capable of flying 15,200 km (8,200 nmi) with 544 passengers. The A350-900 can fly 15,000 km (8,100 nmi) with 325 passengers.
New airliners like the A330neo, A350 and B787 enable economically sustainable non-stop ultra long haul operations on thinner routes with fewer demands, because all the previous planes capable of providing non-stop ultra long haul services are larger and thus more expensive to operate compared to these planes, which in turn require more tickets to be sold and more demands between both destinations to maintain the profitability of those service.
On 25 August 2018, Air India challenged Airbus and Boeing to extend the range of their long haul aircraft to enable flights from India to Santiago or Lima by 2022. The Maharaja Route between New Delhi and Santiago Airport is 17,016 km (9,188 nmi) long, a 20 hour flight at Mach 0.8. Both airframers want to avoid a specific design and Airbus sees a market for 50-100 airliners as other operators could join Air India , for which those could reach the whole world non-stop instead of 70% of its population. Aimed at business travelers, ultra-long haul flights can charge a 20% premium over one-stop direct flights.
Planned long flights
Iran Air had planned a non-stop 12,222-kilometre (6,599 nmi) Tehran–Los Angeles flight, which never materialized due to the 1979 Iranian Revolution. It suspended in November 1979 its 9,850-kilometre (5,320 nmi) scheduled non-stop service between New York and Tehran, flown eastward in 11h 15min, begun after its 747SP delivery on 12 March 1976.
Philippine Airlines is replacing its A340-300 with an A350-900HGW high gross weight version available from 2017 enabling non-stop Manila-New York without payload limitations in both directions, a 13,700 km (7,400 nmi) flight.
Qantas has started a non-stop flight from Perth, Australia to London Heathrow, England and vice versa which will take around 17 hours to travel 14,492.14km in their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in 2018.
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