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New Boeing 777 Arrives In Christchurch

Singapore Airlines’ Spacious New Boeing 777 Arrives In Christchurch In Time For Busy Holiday Period

Singapore Airlines is well equipped to meet the extra demand over the upcoming summer period with the inaugural arrival of the new two-class Boeing 777-200 Extended Range aircraft into Christchurch today.

The new state-of-the-art aircraft is the first of its kind to link in the South Island to international routes.

Singapore Airlines General Manager New Zealand, Mr C W Foo, said the new aircraft will replace the Airbus A340-300 and will be used on all Singapore Airlines’ services between Christchurch and Singapore.

“In June this year Singapore Airlines increased services between Christchurch and Singapore to four times a week and then to five times a week in September. In September we also announced that this would become a daily service from November 14 until February 14, adding an additional two flights per week during that period.

“With a daily service now operating and the arrival of this new B777-200ER aircraft we will be well placed to cope with the growing numbers of tourists coming into the South Island over the summer period. New Zealand travellers and exporters will also benefit from this additional seat and cargo capacity,” Mr Foo said.

Mr Foo said Singapore Airlines’ B777-200ER fleet is very new with an average age of just nine months, as at December 2002. It is also the most technologically advanced and comfortable aircraft ever built.

Thanks to a new wing design, more efficient engines, and a lighter structure, the 777 makes efficient use of fuel, and for every pound of fuel conserved, three fewer pounds of carbon dioxide are generated. Similarly, new design and testing initiatives have helped to ensure the highest possible levels of reliability and, today, 777 aircraft boast a 99 percent schedule reliability rate, which is unmatched in the industry

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“With room for 30 Raffles Class and 255 Economy Class passengers, the B777-200ER aircraft offers one of the most spacious passenger cabins ever developed,” he said. “It has a large, open interior which provides a superior level of comfort on long-haul flights, making this aircraft highly desirable among the world’s top airlines.”

The more frequent services and new aircraft-type will mean that Singapore Airlines has significantly increased its capacity between now and February. In addition to the supplementary services, each of the five regular services will have an extra 30 economy seats with the arrival of the new aircraft.

The Chief Executive of Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL), Mr George Bellew, said the additional seat capacity provided by the new B777-200ER aircraft would benefit and grow the South Island tourism industry by providing greater frequency and availability of seats on direct flights between Christchurch and Singapore and beyond to Europe, Asia Africa and Middle East.

“Singapore Airlines continues to impress us with their rapid response to scheduling capacity requirements, as evidenced by the introduction of this new aircraft with its superb fit-out, plus their recent announcement of daily Singapore services over the busy summer season.

“We are delighted at Singapore Airlines’ commitment to meeting the needs of travellers and we will continue to work closely with them to support this and future initiatives,” Mr Bellew said.

The Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce also welcomed the increased capacity and state-of-the-art aircraft being introduced to Christchurch by Singapore Airlines.

“In this rapidly changing industry it is reassuring to receive Singapore Airlines' assurance that they are 100% committed to servicing Christchurch and the South Island and are intent on expanding their business and utilising only the most modern of planes.

“Our members depend on reliable, cost effective air access to world markets for both passenger transport and freight. Singapore Airlines' continuing commitment to our region is most welcome and appreciated,” said Mr Townsend. “I am sure the airline will continue to be well supported by local businesses.”

The new aircraft offers SIA’s world-renown inflight entertainment system, KrisWorld, with the latest innovations, including audio-video on demand in all classes, allowing customers to play or pause, fast-forward and rewind at any time. KrisWorld on the Boeing 777ER offers over 190 entertainment options, including a selection of 25 movies, 30 hours of short features, 50 CD albums, Nintendo GameBoy and multi-player games on personal screens in every seat in every class.

From December 19 the new aircraft will also be fitted with Singapore Airlines’ new SpaceBeds in the Raffles Class cabin. Passengers will enjoy the unprecedented comforts and style of the new generation SpaceBed, which is the largest business class bed in the sky. The SpaceBed was officially launched in Christchurch in November.

The new B777-200ER aircraft was officially welcomed into Christchurch by the CIAL Fire Crew, who performed a guard of honour, spraying the aircraft with water as it taxied to the terminal.

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