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Singapore Airlines connects Wellington to the world

21 September 2016

Singapore Airlines launches ‘Capital Express’ service, connecting Wellington to the world

Singapore Airlines has launched its new ‘Capital Express’ service, linking Wellington for the first time with Singapore, via Canberra.

The inaugural flight, SQ291, departed Singapore Changi Airport at 23:00 local time last night and arrived at Canberra Airport at 08:35 local time this morning. Following a 1hr 15min stop-over at Canberra, it continued on to Wellington and arrived at 15:05 local time.

The launch of this service marks a new chapter in Singapore Airlines’ long-standing commitment to the New Zealand market.

Passengers arriving in Wellington on the inaugural flight from Singapore and Canberra were welcomed by a water cannon salute from the Wellington Airport Fire Service, followed by a Powhiri – a traditional Maori welcome – as passengers disembarked onto the tarmac. The ceremony echoes the welcome given to the first Singapore Airlines flight arriving in Auckland 40 years ago, and the first to Christchurch 30 years ago.

Guests were also treated to an assortment of Wellington-inspired refreshments at a special event held to commemorate the inaugural flight. This included a limited edition beer from local craft beer company Garage Project, a pilsner made from New Zealand and Australian hops, brewed with lemongrass, tamarind and jasmine to evoke the flavours of Singapore.

Arriving passengers were also treated to a living display of Wellington highlights as they proceeded through the terminal – this included scenes of its world-class film industry, coffee culture, craft beer and boutique shopping. To top it off, Wellington-based Whittaker’s chocolate company greeted SQ291 passengers with its Almond Gold chocolate bars – a favourite in Singapore.

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Singapore Airlines General Manager New Zealand, Mr Simon Turcotte, said he was proud to be bringing Singapore Airlines’ world class service to New Zealand’s capital.

“This new route will provide Wellingtonians with greater access to our extensive global network through a convenient service to Singapore via Canberra. It also provides a new gateway to the growing number of travellers arriving to this beautiful country’s shores,” Mr Turcotte said.

Singapore Airlines is the first airline to connect Wellington and Canberra and is the first non trans-Tasman operator to service more than two destinations in New Zealand. With the arrival of SQ291, Singapore Airlines also becomes the only scheduled airline to operate a widebody aircraft to the capital.

The ‘Capital Express’ service will operate four times per week on a Wellington-Canberra-Singapore routing with return services on a Singapore-Canberra-Wellington routing, connecting Wellingtonians to more than 100 destinations across 34 countries.

Flights will be operated with 266-seat Boeing 777-200 aircraft fitted with 38 Business Class seats and 228 Economy Class seats.

The new Wellington service will complement existing daily services between Singapore and both Auckland and Christchurch. It will also form part of Singapore Airlines’ extensive code share alliance with Air New Zealand. This will see Air New Zealand codesharing on Singapore Airlines new Wellington-Singapore service and Singapore Airlines on Air New Zealand’s domestic network beyond Wellington.

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