Singapore's airport and tourism authority are partnering Australia's Qantas in a $5 million marketing initiative to grow traffic to and through Singapore.
The three-year Changi Airport Group (CAG), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Qantas tie-up is the first of its kind with a foreign carrier, The Straits Times understands.
Before this, the authorities have worked only with Singapore Airlines on such projects.
With the new tie-up, the CAG, STB and Qantas will work together on a series of joint marketing campaigns in Australia, Britain and South-east Asia to promote travel on Qantas services via Singapore.
The partnership announced by the three parties yesterday comes as Qantas prepares to resume its Sydney-London services via Singapore from March 25.
In April 2013, the Australian carrier had moved out of Singapore, making Dubai its stopover for Australia-Europe flights, although it continued to grow Australia-Singapore services. The decision to return is part of plans to expand Qantas' presence and foothold in the growing Asian market, the airline's top brass has said.
On the tie-up with Changi Airport and STB, Qantas' chief executive Alan Joyce said: "Singapore is Qantas' largest hub outside of Australia, carrying more than 20 per cent of our wide body fleet.
It is a cornerstone city in our international network strategy and plays an important role in our ability to respond to the incredible growth we are seeing in travellers from Asia.
QANTAS' CHIEF EXECUTIVE ALAN JOYCE, on the airline's tie-up with Singapore's Changi Airport and STB.
The addition of more Qantas services, especially the return of the iconic Kangaroo Route (Sydney-Singapore-London), is set to draw even more visitors from the two countries.
STB'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE LIONEL YEO, on Australia and Britain being important source markets for Singapore.
"It is a cornerstone city in our international network strategy and plays an important role in our ability to respond to the incredible growth we are seeing in travellers from 3-way Asia."
The deal will also allow Qantas to better leverage its partner network in the region, which includes working with its low-cost arm, Jetstar, Mr Joyce said.
From next month, Qantas will operate over 50 return services into and out of Changi Airport each week, making it one of the largest foreign airlines to operate out of the Singapore airport.
STB's chief executive Lionel Yeo said: "Australia and the UK have always been important source markets for Singapore, ranking fifth and 12th respectively in 2017. The addition of more Qantas services, especially the return of the iconic Kangaroo Route (Sydney-Singapore-London), is set to draw even more visitors from the two countries."
The Australian carrier, which has been flying to Singapore for more than 80 years, is "a valued airline partner", CAG's chief executive Lee Seow Hiang said.
The Centre for Aviation's chief analyst Brendan Sobie said the CAG-STB tie-up with Qantas is a step in the right direction, given the increasing competition for air traffic.
"It's a good idea for Singapore to promote inbound visitor traffic. The outbound market is mature and not expected to grow much, while transit traffic is extremely competitive," he said.
"The inbound segment also has a big overall economic impact (when visitors come and spend). Inbound traffic now makes up 44 per cent of the total traffic at Changi and could grow to 50 per cent, driving overall growth."