Podcast #69: Singapore Airlines on Operating to Australia in the Pandemic

Podcast #69: Singapore Airlines on Operating to Australia in the Pandemic
Singapore Airlines has maintained air services to Australia throughout COVID-19 despite many challenges. Photo: Singapore Airlines.

Flying internationally to or from Australia over the past 18 months has been extremely challenging for passengers. This is especially so for the tens of thousands of Australians who remain stuck overseas in September 2021.

Previous episodes of the AFF on Air podcast have investigated the challenge of returning to Australia from a passenger’s perspective. But the pandemic has also been challenging for the international airlines trying to maintain air connectivity into Australia.

Karl Schubert is the Public Relations Manager for Singapore Airlines in the South West Pacific region. He joined Matt Graham on episode 69 of the AFF on Air podcast to provide an airline’s perspective on operating flights to Australia during COVID-19.

Singapore Airlines has flown over 5,000 services to Australia since April 2020. But like all airlines flying into Australia throughout the pandemic, its operations have been hampered by ever-changing regulations and the Australian government’s inbound passenger arrival caps. These caps limit the airline to selling as few as 12 seats per flight, despite enormous demand for tickets.

Just this week, Singapore Airlines has had to cancel another 88 passenger flights between Singapore and Australia that were due to operate in October 2021 (53 flights to Sydney, 27 to Melbourne and eight into Brisbane).

The 20-minute interview with the Singapore Airlines spokesman begins at the 13:28 mark (just over 13 minutes into the podcast) and covers topics including:

  • The challenges of maintaining air service to Australia during the pandemic
  • Why Singapore Airlines had to cancel 88 flights to Australia in October 2021 & the impact on affected passengers
  • The possibility of a travel bubble opening between Australia and Singapore
  • Singapore Airlines’ plans to restore more capacity to Australia when borders reopen

This episode also contains lots of other Australian airline and frequent flyer news from the past fortnight.


Listen now to AFF on AIR Episode 69: “Singapore Airlines on Operating to Australia in the Pandemic”

You can also view the episode notes. If you’d like to discuss this episode, ask Matt a question or suggest a topic for a future episode, you can join the discussion on the AFF on Air Discussion thread.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]


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