Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Direct international flights a game changer for Canberra

The announcement by Singapore Airlines last week of direct flights to Canberra Airport is a game changer that will connect Canberra and it’s surrounds to the world, boosting its international profile and economy.

From September, flights will be available from Canberra to Singapore or New Zealand, enabling Canberra to grow into a great ‘world’ city — taking its place on the world stage.

Singapore Airlines will fly direct services from Singapore to Canberra and Canberra to Wellington in a route dubbed the ‘capital express’, with four services a week to both capital cities on a Boeing 777-200.

The start of direct international flights is expected to create significant positive economic and social impacts for the city and the region in terms of trade, investment, higher education and tourism. Independent economic modelling indicates the new flights will be worth tens of millions of dollars to the economy and create hundreds of jobs.

The ACT Government, through VisitCanberra, is partnering with Singapore Airlines and the Canberra Airport Group to deliver cooperative marketing activity in South East Asia, connecting markets and New Zealand. This will support future growth and create positive benefits for the ACT community.

Capital Airport Group’s investment in the award-winning infrastructure at the Canberra Airport has created a more than fitting gateway to the nation’s capital. Over the past three years the ACT Government has worked tirelessly with the airport to develop robust business cases to attract new direct international air services to Canberra.

“I congratulate Mr Goh Choon Phong and Singapore Airlines for recognising the opportunity our region has for their business. I commend their commitment to Australia’s capital – a city that is confident, bold and ready for the world of opportunities that this historic announcement will bring. Stronger linkages between Singapore, Canberra and Wellington will continue to prosper and grow as a result of this partnership” said the Chief Minister, who was integral in making international flights a possibility for Canberra.

“I have led several trade missions to Singapore in recent years and each mission has seen more representatives from our tourism, business and education sectors participate. Aviation has been high on the agenda during these visits, and today sees the fruition of that hard work, perseverance and commitment. All great cities of the world have international connectivity – today our journey begins.”

The first flights, already a complete sell-out, are taking off mid September with tickets available this week.