Changi Airport gives most options to visitors to Australia

An SIA service to Australia's Canberra, and from there to New Zealand's Wellington, is being launched next week. Seven other carriers, including SilkAir, Scoot and Jetstar Asia, serve the Singapore-Australia sector.
An SIA service to Australia's Canberra, and from there to New Zealand's Wellington, is being launched next week. Seven other carriers, including SilkAir, Scoot and Jetstar Asia, serve the Singapore-Australia sector. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

New Canberra service means 300,000 seats for sale on flights between the two countries

The launch of a Singapore Airlines service next week to Canberra in Australia, and from there to Wellington in New Zealand, will cement Changi's position as the international airport that offers travellers the most options to Australia.

Next month, airlines are selling close to 300,000 seats on more than 1,000 flights between Singapore and nine cities Down Under.

The data, collated by Changi Airport Group, is based on advance information provided by carriers.

After Singapore, Auckland in New Zealand is the second most connected city to Australia with more than 286,000 seats available next month.

Apart from SIA, there are seven other carriers - SilkAir, Scoot, Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Airways, Qantas, British Airways and Emirates - that serve the Singapore-Australia sector.

The many flights, an attractive exchange rate and a perceived safe environment are the main reasons that traffic between the two countries has grown strongly in recent years, travel agents said.

SURGE IN DEMAND

So far this year, we have seen a 35 per cent surge in demand and we expect the numbers to hold with the year-end holidays coming. The leisure segment especially has grown strongly with Perth, Melbourne and Sydney the more popular cities for travellers from Singapore.

DYNASTY TRAVEL'S PUBLIC RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR ALICIA SEAH, on Australia as a tourism destination.

Australia is Changi Airport's fifth largest market, after Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and China.

Between January and July, total passenger traffic hit almost three million, which was 5.9 per cent more than during the same seven months last year.

An attractive currency exchange rate, and with Australia perceived as a safe destination - unlike parts of Europe, for example - have helped the demand for travel to the country to increase, travel agents said.

Dynasty Travel's public relations and communications director Alicia Seah, said: "So far this year, we have seen a 35 per cent surge in demand and we expect the numbers to hold with the year-end holidays coming. The leisure segment especially has grown strongly with Perth, Melbourne and Sydney the more popular cities for travellers from Singapore."

Passenger movements between Singapore and New Zealand have been stable for the first seven months of the year at about 345,000, Changi said.

The airport's managing director for air hub development, Mr Lim Ching Kiat, said he is confident the new SIA link will "enhance the existing ties with both countries and bring about greater convenience to our passengers."

The new service - dubbed Capital Express - is a highly welcomed addition to Changi's Oceania network, following the establishment of Nadi in Fiji as a new city link in April, he said.

With the launch of the SIA service on Tuesday, Canberra will become the seventh new city link for Changi Airport so far this year. Another two will be added later this year when Scoot starts flying to Sapporo in Japan and Jaipur in India.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2016, with the headline 'Changi Airport gives most options to visitors to Australia'. Print Edition | Subscribe