It has taken an Asian airline to put the capital cities of Australia and New Zealand on the world map.
Today Singapore Airlines (SIA) linked both cities to its global network via Changi. Until now both capitals have lacked long-haul international connections.
Strangely there are no long-haul international flights from either airport operated by Qantas (Australia’s main airline) or Air New Zealand.
So as can be imagined, there has been much excitement in both capitals and they have never seen an Asian airline use their respective airports.
The sole “international” flights seen at Canberra and Wellington consist of a handful of trans-Tasman services.
Globetrotters based in either city would either have to proceed to their nearest main airport either overland or by connecting domestic flight.
SIA operates four flights a week with a B777-200 configured for 36 business and 228 economy class seats.
Flights depart Singapore at 23.00 to arrive into Canberra at 08.15. After a short time on the ground, the service continues to Welington to arrive at 15.00.
The return service departs Wellington at 21.15 and arrives Canberra at 22.05. It departs soon after and arrives into Singapore the following morning at 05.50.
One point to note is that SIA has traffic rights between Canberra and Wellington which will, I imagine, be much in demand from the locals.
Naturally there are connecting opportunities at Singapore Changi to destinations both with SIA and other foreign carriers.
Adding these two new cities to its network enables SIA to stay one step ahead of its rivals.
Despite ever fiercer competition from the Gulf carriers, SIA remains the number one international airline serving Australia when services by (regional subsidiary) Silk Air and (budget) Scoot are taken into consideration.
SIA has a seat sale right now so I suggest checking with its website for the latest prices.