Singapore Airlines new ‘Capital Express’ service has officially begun amid a host of celebrations across three countries today after touching down in Wellington this afternoon following its flight from Singapore and Canberra.
After departing Changi Airport at 11:00pm on Tuesday 20 September following a special celebratory event, SQ291 landed at a wet Canberra Airport this morning at 08:03am to rapturous applause from all in attendance. More than 200 people watched from inside Canberra Airport’s main atrium, while around another 500 watched this historic landing from within the terminal.
Following the historic landing, Canberra Airport’s Aviation Fire Rescue welcomed the Boeing 777-200 with a ceremonial water cannon salute before passengers disembarked and were greeted by a traditional Indigenous welcome party.
Those entering the country in Canberra were met by VisitCanberra and provided with a welcome gift, while those travelling on to Wellington joined other travellers in the departure lounge to continue celebrations.
After a short stop of just an hour and 50 minutes, SQ291 welcomed those making the maiden trip from Canberra to Wellington before taking off at 09:53 for the second part of the historic flight.
History was made just three hours later when SQ291 touched down in Wellington marking the first time Australia and New Zealand’s capital cities have been connected and completion of the inaugural ‘Capital Express’.
Singapore Airlines Executive Vice President Commercial, Mr Mak Swee Wah said the commencement of the new ‘Capital Express’ marked an exciting new chapter in Singapore Airlines long history in Australia.
“Today’s launch of the ‘Capital Express’ is also a reinforcement of our commitment to Australia and the entire South West Pacific region,” Mr Mak said.
“The opportunities that flights SQ291 and SQ292 will provide government, leisure and corporate travellers alike is exciting.
“We are proud to be adding Canberra and Wellington to our network, and today as we begin our operation we look forward to making the ‘Capital Express’ a success.”
The historic service is the first regularly scheduled international flight to operate from Canberra airport and holds the honour of also being the first to connect the Australian and New Zealand capitals.
Flights will be operated four times weekly with a 266-seat Boeing 777-200 aircraft fitted with 38 Business Class seats and 228 Economy Class seats.
The new Canberra services will add to Singapore Airlines’ already extensive Australia network, which includes flights between Singapore and Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Regional arm
SilkAir also serves Cairns and Darwin, while low-cost subsidiary Scoot serves the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
The new Wellington services will complement existing services between Singapore and both Auckland and Christchurch.
Singapore Airlines’ network in Australia and New Zealand is further enhanced through its extensive partnerships with Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand.