SINGAPORE AIRLINES TO MAKE HISTORY WITH NEW 'CAPITAL EXPRESS'
· Australia and New Zealand's capitals directly connected for the first time
· SQ291/292 to be Canberra's first regularly scheduled international service
Singapore Airlines today announced it would be the first international airline to operate regularly scheduled international flights from Australia's capital, Canberra.
The new 'Capital Express' route will provide the nation's capital with two direct international destination options with flight SQ292/291 operating Canberra-Singapore and Canberra-Wellington.
For the first time in the two countries' histories, Australia and New Zealand's capital cities will be serviced by non-stop flights four times a week beginning in September 2016 – subject to regulatory approval.
"This new service linking Singapore, Canberra and Wellington reflects the close ties between the three countries," said Singapore Airlines CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong.
"We are excited about the prospects for our new 'Capital Express' route, which we are confident will appeal to leisure, government and corporate travellers.
"We are especially pleased to be bringing more convenient travel options to customers with Canberra's first regularly scheduled international flights and the first non-stop links between the capitals of Australia and New Zealand."
Since it was purchased in 1998 the Capital Airport Group has invested more than $2 billion in facilities at Canberra Airport, investments that will have helped it make history on 21 September when it welcomes the first Singapore Airlines flight.
Canberra Airport Chairman, Mr Terry Snow AM, said the decision by Singapore Airlines to begin operations was justification of the long-term vision that Canberra Airport has had for many years.
"From day one, my family set about creating a world-class gateway for the national capital. As long-term locals committed to the prosperity of the capital region, our campaign to see Canberra become linked directly to the rest of the world has been constant," said Mr Snow.
"We have worked closely with the ACT Government and VisitCanberra, and particularly Chief Minister Andrew Barr who over many years has been unwavering in his passion and support for our quest to gain direct international flights.
"I can think of no better partner than Singapore Airlines with its reputation for quality and excellence to be the first to set Canberra Airport on this historic course."
Tickets for the new Capital Express service will be on sale from Monday 25 January with Economy Class fares starting from $650 all-inclusive for CBR-SIN return and $469 all-inclusive for CBR-WLG return. Business Class fares start from $3,166 all-inclusive for CBR-SIN return and $1,450 all-inclusive for CBR-WLG return.
Singapore Airlines' Alliance partner Virgin Australia will codeshare on flights between Canberra and Singapore, providing Virgin Australia customers with greater access to Singapore, Asia and Europe.
The new Canberra service will add to Singapore Airlines' already extensive Australian network. The Airline's Australian network currently includes flights between Singapore and Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
Subsidiary SilkAir also serves Cairns and Darwin, while a wide-ranging partnership with Virgin Australia extends Singapore Airlines' Australian and South Pacific network to another 53 codeshare destinations.
Singapore Airlines' new Wellington services will complement existing services between Singapore and both Auckland and Christchurch, and come in a year in which it celebrates its 40th and 30th anniversaries serving the cities, respectively.
Singapore Airlines also has an extensive partnership with Air New Zealand.
The Capital Express service will be operated with 266-seat retrofitted Boeing 777-200 fitted with 38 Business Class seats and 228 Economy Class seats.
About Canberra Airport
The Capital Airport Group, led by Chairman Terry Snow and Managing Director Stephen Byron, has invested almost $2 billion in facilities at Canberra Airport since purchasing it from the Commonwealth in 1998. An exciting and elegant new Canberra Airport terminal enhances the tourism promise of the Capital region. Designed and built by local companies, and featuring inviting spaces punctuated with world-class artwork, the Airport reflects the style and originality of contemporary Canberra. Just eight minutes' drive from iconic national cultural institutions including the Australian War Memorial, hip hotels and restaurants, and two hours from some of Australia's best natural experiences, from the ocean to the snow to the outback, Canberra Airport is an integral gateway for the region's ambitions to grow and globalise.
Canberra Airport offers frequent and direct services to Australia's major cities, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Newcastle, and an upgraded runway is able to accommodate larger jets including the Boeing 747 and Boeing 777, as well as the Airbus A380. Canberra Airport enjoys a unique position as the only 747-capable, curfew-free airport between Brisbane and Melbourne. Catering to a population of almost one million people within two hours' drive, Canberra Airport lives up to its vision of becoming the world's best small airport and sets the tone for what to expect from one of the world's best-planned and most liveable cities and its dynamic and enticing region.