Singapore Airlines will soon become the only airline to operate international flights from Australia’s capital. In a move that has pleasantly surprised many, the airline announced direct flights from Canberra to two cities: Singapore and Wellington. The flights will be operated by a Boeing 777 which will fly between Singapore and Wellington, with a stopover in Canberra in each direction.

The legs between Singapore and Canberra will both operate overnight. The Canberra-Wellington flight will depart mid-morning, while the return flight will depart the Kiwi capital in the evening. The turnaround time in Canberra will be short, with a little over an hour.

The 4x weekly flights will be operated by a Boeing 777-200 featuring 228 economy seats and 38 seats in the pointy-end. The aircraft used will feature Singapore’s regional product, meaning Business class seats will be angle-flat (and not completely lie-flat). While these aircraft aren’t quite up to the same standard as some of the airline’s long-haul configured aircraft, they should prove to be a competitive product on this route.

So excited to do MEL-CBR-WLG in an SQ J seat. What an awesome way to get to NZ.

The new flights are great news for Canberra residents and the local tourism industry alike.

Fantastic news and a long time coming. With a catchment area of approx 600K, hopefully the Canberra community and surrounding areas support this new service. If SQ price this service correctly, this could also become a viable option to people living in western Sydney (only 2hrs drive from Canberra).

With no international flights currently operating from Canberra, lounge, customs and immigration arrangements for overseas passengers remains to be seen. Apart from the occasional charter flight, the only other airline to have operated international flights to Canberra in the past was Air Pacific. The airline, which is now Fiji Airways, operated a notably short-lived Canberra-Nadi service back in 2004.

Canberra Airport does already possess the capability to handle international passengers. International immigration and customs facilities, which are currently unused, are located at the Virgin Australia end of the terminal. Some members suspect that the eventual setup will be similar to that used currently for international flights from Adelaide.

It sounds like the ADL setup. All the domestic checkin and lounge services are used, until just before boarding where pax head through secondary screening and passport control to a small holding area at the gate.

It would appear the Business class and status passengers will have access to Virgin Australia’s existing domestic lounge. But as there is sufficient space for a new lounge at Canberra Airport, some have speculated that Singapore Airlines will in fact open their own.

Flights begin on 20 September 2016. In the meantime, watch THIS SPACE for all the developments.

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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]