Regular international flights will take to the skies from Canberra Airport’s newly opened international terminal this Wednesday, as Singapore Airlines launches its new four-times-a-week service between Wellington and Singapore via Canberra, code-sharing with Air New Zealand.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) will use a B777-200 aircraft fitted with 38 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration, and 228 Economy Class seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.
SIA and Air New Zealand will from this week extend their alliance to include travel between Wellington and Singapore. From the launch day on 21 September, Air New Zealand will be able to codeshare on Singapore Airlines’ new Wellington-Singapore service and Singapore Airlines on Air New Zealand’s domestic network beyond Wellington.
Canberra Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester last week unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of Canberra Airport’s new terminal, which is equipped with state-of-the-art passport control facilities, duty-free shopping and a new terminal lounge.
“Canberra Airport represents one of the most significant infrastructure projects for the ACT and surrounding region, with a growing role as a national transportation hub, commercial business park and retail destination,” Chester said.
Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand first launched an alliance in early 2015, which included the Singapore Airlines’ Singapore-Christchurch service and enabled Air New Zealand to resume operating the Auckland-Singapore route.
Air New Zealand chief strategy, networks and alliances officer, Stephen Jones, said the launch of the alliance with Singapore Airlines “delivered capacity growth of 15% in its first year, helping to not only grow visitor arrivals benefiting our tourism industry but also provide convenient travel options to Singapore and markets beyond”.
Singapore Airlines general manager, New Zealand, Simon Turcotte said the extension of the alliance agreement to include the new service would deliver a greater choice to customers looking to travel to and from New Zealand.
“The addition of the new Wellington-Singapore route (via Canberra) is another example of our commitment to provide increased frequency and capacity between Singapore and New Zealand,” Turcotte said.
In Canberra, meanwhile, the Australian Government will cover the cost of providing customs and immigration staffing at Canberra airport to support international flights.
Senator for the Australian Capital Territory Zed Seselja said direct connections from New Zealand and Singapore would help Canberra and the region grow as an international tourist destination.
“There were more than 220,000 international visitors to Canberra and the surrounding region in the year to March 2016, up 12.8 per cent on the previous year,” Seselja said.
“On the outgoing side, Canberrans will also benefit from direct international services – we no longer have to use domestic connections to fly overseas.”
Written by Peter Needham