It has been more than a decade since Canberra Airport has seen a direct international flight touchdown, however all that changed this morning with the arrival of flight SQ291.
The Singapore Airlines flight was greeted by water cannons and representatives from the ACT Government as it arrived in Canberra, 8 hours after taking off from Changi Airport in Singapore. The flight will then continue on from Canberra to Wellington in New Zealand.
The last time Canberra hosted regular direct international flights was in 2004, with Air Pacific’s short-lived service to Fiji.
The Singapore to Canberra to Wellington rotation will run four times a week.
Last week Canberra Airport boss Terry Snow said the site was currently operating at about a quarter of its capacity, and it was hoping to attract more international services from low-cost carriers in Asia.
The airport’s managing director, Stephen Byron, said once the scheduled four flights a week were being filled, they could look at expanding.
“That is the focus for the coming years, to grow from four services a week to five services week,” snow said.
Bryon added that he hoped the Wellington link would lead to an influx of New Zealanders in Canberra and boost the relationship between the two cities.