Canberra is now an international destination, following the arrival of Singapore Airlines’ SQ291 from Singapore and departure for Wellington, New Zealand.

The Singapore Airlines’ Capital Express flight between Singapore and Wellington, via Canberra, is Canberra’s first international flight in more than a decade.

Canberra Airport welcomed the arrival of Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) inaugural service with an Airservices Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) monitor cross on Wednesday (21 Step 2016) morning.

“They say some of the best things in life take the longest, and this has certainly been 18 and a half years of challenges and hard work, but also a great deal of fun,” Canberra Airport chief executive Stephen Byron told media ahead of SQ291’s arrival.

Australia deserved an international service into its national capital. Since Australia is one of the very few countries in the world which does not have direct flights into the capital city. “That all changed today”, Stephen said.

The Boeing 777-200ER with 240 people on board was welcomed by the SIA’s Executive Vice President Commercial, Mr Mak Swee Wah, Canberra Airport Managing Director, Mr Stephen Byron and ACT Chief Minister, Mr Andrew Barr MLA.

“This is a fantastic day for Canberra,” remarked ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr. He said the Canberra International Airport has opened “range of opportunities to our residents and surrounding residents to Singapore and South-east Asia but then onto Europe.” He said the flights would benefit jobs, trade, investment, education, tourism and regional freight.

International flights into Canberra offer great economic potential as well for producers and manufacturers to our
north, west and south. “It offers new options for producers who have previously used Sydney airport as a freight hub” Canberra Airport chief said.

Singapore Airlines’ 9V-SRP arrives at Wellington Airport. Photo: Gary Hollier

Singapore Airlines’ 9V-SRP arrives at Wellington Airport. Photo: Gary Hollier

Singapore Airlines ‘Capital Express’ service has linked Singapore for the first time with the capital cities of both Australia and New Zealand.

SIA executive vice president for commercial Mak Swee Wah said the new service was a “reinforcement of our commitment to Australia and the entire South West Pacific region”.

Singapore Airlines is “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” Mak said in a statement.

Canberra is Singapore Airlines’ sixth destination in Australia alongside Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Journalist Jesse Dorsett posted a video of the aircraft’s arrival on Twitter: