On September 20, 2016, Singapore Airlines celebrated its inaugural flight from Singapore to Canberra, Australia, and continuing to Wellington, New Zealand. This marked the launch of the Airline’s new Capital Express route that links the two capital cities to Singapore, with a one-and-a-half-hour stopover in Canberra. The service now operates four times a week on a Singapore-Canberra-Wellington routing, with return flights on a Wellington-Canberra-Singapore routing.
In the gatehold room, where an event was held to celebrate this momentous occasion, Australian couple Karen Gruber and Jamie Carr slow-danced to songs like Fly Me To The Moon performed by the cabin crew. Gruber, a public servant, said she is pleased about the new destinations Singapore Airlines is flying to. In the past, she had to fly home to Canberra via Sydney, so this direct flight to Australia’s capital has saved her a significant amount of time and money. Excited about seeing their family and friends after a month-long vacation in Asia, the couple were marking the end of their first holiday together with this flight home.
Another couple from Heilongjiang, China, Sun Ning and Tian Yuyang, were spotted enjoying the scrumptious buffet spread provided by Singapore Airlines, before making their first trip together as newlyweds. “We heard from our friends about the new flight to Canberra and Wellington, and how awesome the experience of flying with Singapore Airlines is. It is thus a fitting way to begin our 12-day-long honeymoon,” said Tian.
VIPs who graced the event shared their thoughts on how Singapore Airlines’ new route is a strategic move to increase trade and tourism in Canberra, Wellington and Singapore. “This is the first time an airline has added a destination in Australia in 25 years and the route also serves as the first international flight to Canberra’s airport,” said the Airline’s Acting Senior Vice-President (Sales and Marketing) Campbell Wilson.
As passengers prepared to board their flight, they received memorabilia including a certificate signed by the pilot, an SG50 special-edition notebook and a luggage tag. The aircraft departed from Singapore at 11pm and passengers were welcomed to Canberra with champagne and ceremonial water cannons. After a one-and-a-half-hour stopover, they took off once again for Wellington and touched down in the city safely shortly after 3pm (local time).
– TEXT BY CHARLENE CHUA
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.