Singapore Airlines Shuffles Canberra, Wellington FlightsSingapore Airlines will commence daily flights from Canberra to Singapore from 1 May, 2018. Operating via Sydney in one direction, the new Boeing 777-300ER service will feature First class. At the same time, Singapore’s 4x weekly services to Wellington will be re-routed via Melbourne instead of Canberra.

The changes will see services from Canberra to Singapore increase from 4x weekly to daily. Canberra will also benefit from a newer aircraft serving the route. The Boeing 777-300ER has Premium Economy and First class cabins, as well as superior lie-flat beds in Business class and improved in-flight entertainment. However, the flight will operate in a triangle with a stop in Sydney on the Singapore-Canberra journey. Canberra also loses its direct flights to Wellington; currently the only non-stop service between Canberra and New Zealand.

The new SQ288 service will depart Singapore at 10.30am, arriving in Sydney at 8.10pm. After a short stop, the aircraft will continue onwards to Canberra before returning overnight to Singapore directly from Canberra at 11.15pm.

Singapore Airlines’ 4x weekly Wellington service will operate to a new schedule via Melbourne from 1 May. This is good news for frequent travellers between Melbourne and Wellington as the increased competition may reduce prices. In addition, Singapore Airlines’ Business class product is vastly superior to the current options on the route.

The new SQ247 service will operate overnight from Singapore to Melbourne, continuing from Melbourne to Wellington at 7am. The return SQ248 leaves Wellington at 1.45pm, stopping in Melbourne en-route to Singapore where it arrives late in the evening – just in time to connect to Singapore Airlines’ European and northern Asian destinations.

Singapore Airlines began the so-called Capital Express service from Singapore to Canberra, and onwards to Wellington, in September 2016. The service has enjoyed strong demand between Canberra and Singapore, but the loads between Canberra and Wellington have been light. In the last 3 months for which data is available, an average of just 57% of seats were filled on the Canberra-Wellington tag flight.

Shame. I know many people who utilised this for a weekend away. Often cheaper than getting to Brisbane, Tassie (or anywhere from CBR really).

Despite the loss of Canberra-Wellington services, there is some good news for Canberra travellers. First class is now from Canberra to Singapore, and we expect to see a reasonable amount of award availability. Singapore Airlines award flights can be booked using both Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles and Virgin Velocity points.

But we are getting daily flights to SIN and proper J & F. so I count this as a win.

This is interesting (though not entirely surprising) news. Look forward to trying out SQ for a few days in WLG. Great flight times to/from MEL too. Always welcome a new way to use Velocity…

The new Canberra service effectively adds an extra daily flight between Singapore and Sydney. Although the Sydney-Singapore sector operates via Canberra, it also allows Singapore Airlines to offer a conveniently-timed redeye service from Sydney. Singapore Airlines currently does not offer any overnight departures from Sydney due to the airport’s strict 11pm curfew.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: SQ changes – CBR-WLG gone; Now SIN-SYD-CBR-SIN and SIN-MEL-WLG & vv


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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.

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