SIA to add passenger service to all weekly flights to Sydney in line with NSW border reopening

Singapore Airlines is currently operating just one passenger flight a day to Sydney, with other flights operating as cargo-only. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Flag carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be adding passenger service on all of its weekly flights between Singapore and Sydney, in line with the border reopening in Australia's New South Wales next month.

SIA is currently operating just one passenger flight a day to Sydney, with other flights operating as cargo-only.

But from Nov 1, all of its 17 weekly flights between Singapore and Sydney will be eligible for passenger sales for those that meet the eligibility criteria.

The move is not expected to affect international travellers for the time being, given that Australia's borders remain closed to them.

The New South Wales state, which has Sydney as its capital, said on Friday (Oct 15) that it will allow fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents from overseas to come in from Nov 1 without the need for quarantine.

Prior to this, Australia as a country had been implementing strict border controls to control the Covid-19 pandemic.

Measures included two weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine, as well as limits on the number of people entering the country.

SIA said in a statement issued in Australia on Friday that it welcomes the plans to reopen New South Wales' borders.

It said it will open sales on its flights between Singapore and Sydney for eligible customers from Saturday, 3pm local time (12pm Singapore time). This will support the return of more Australians and the reunification of family and friends, SIA added.

Eligibility for the SIA's Australia flights will be determined by the Australian Government.

But travellers must meet minimum requirements of being an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, be vaccinated with two doses of an approved Covid-19 vaccine, and have a vaccine certificate that meets Australia's requirements.

SIA regional vice-president for South West Pacific Louis Arul said: "This paves the way for many Australians to return home, but more detail is needed on how to facilitate unvaccinated passengers within the revised international arrival caps that will come into effect from Nov 1."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.