Direct international flights a game changer for confident CBR

Today's announcement by Singapore Airlines of direct flights to Canberra Airport is a game changer that will connect Canberra and our region to the world, boosting our international profile and our economy.

From September, Canberrans will be able to fly from Canberra to Singapore or New Zealand. This is the final piece of the puzzle in Canberra becoming a great ‘world’ city, of taking our place on the world stage.

Singapore Airlines will fly direct services from Singapore to Canberra and Canberra to Wellington in a route dubbed the ‘capital express’, with four services a week to both capital cities on a Boeing 777-200.

The start of direct international flights will create significant positive economic and social impacts for our city and the region in terms of trade, investment, higher education and tourism. Independent economic modelling shows these new flights will be worth tens of millions of dollars to our economy and create hundreds of jobs.

The ACT Government, through VisitCanberra, is partnering with Singapore Airlines and the Canberra Airport Group to deliver cooperative marketing activity in South East Asia, connecting markets and New Zealand. This will support future growth and create positive benefits for the ACT community.

I commend the Capital Airport Group’s investment in the wonderful infrastructure at Canberra Airport and creating a fitting gateway to the nation’s capital. Over the past three years my Government has worked tirelessly with the airport to develop robust business cases to attract new direct international air services to Canberra.

I congratulate Mr Goh Choon Phong and Singapore Airlines for recognising the opportunity our region has for their business. I commend their commitment to Australia’s capital – a city that is confident, bold and ready for the world of opportunities that this historic announcement will bring. Stronger linkages between Singapore, Canberra and Wellington will continue to prosper and grow as a result of this partnership.

I have led several trade missions to Singapore in recent years and each mission has seen more representatives from our tourism, business and education sectors participate. Aviation has been high on the agenda during these visits, and today sees the fruition of that hard work, perseverance and commitment. All great cities of the world have international connectivity – today our journey begins.

With tickets on sale next week and the first flights taking off in mid September I look forward to an exciting era of closer economic and social interaction between our respective capitals.

The rest of the world is finally now on our doorstep.