Singapore Airlines Installed Corpse Lockers For the Longest Commercial Route in the World


In 2004, Singapore Airlines started flying between Singapore and Newark, New Jersey. At the time, it was the longest commercial route in the world, taking a little over 18 hours to make the 8,285-mile trip. It had a cabin crew of 14 and six flight deck officers, each working 4-hour shifts. The flight required 58,117 gallons of fuel — 10 times the weight of the passengers. The airline said this route would save four hours off a one-stop service, but medical experts expressed their concerns. They pointed out that passengers would breathe recycled air for 18 hours, with a greater chance of picking up viral infections onboard. Furthermore, the heart and lungs would come under increased strain from a lower-than-normal supply of oxygen, with an enhanced risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) among people who failed to exercise frequently onboard. In response, the airline installed special lockers on the aircraft to store corpses of any passengers who died en route, since the flight’s route over the Pacific Ocean and the North Pole meant there were few, if any, possible unscheduled stops. In 2012, Singapore Airlines announced that it would discontinue non-stop service to both Newark and Los Angeles because revenue was no longer high enough to sustain the service.