Cap­i­tal gains

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - ESCAPE YOUR TRAVEL -

Welling­ton’s first long-haul con­nec­tion, the ‘‘Cap­i­tal Ex­press’’ route, has landed.

Sin­ga­pore Air­lines in­au­gu­ral flight SQ291, from Sin­ga­pore via Can­berra, touched down in the cap­i­tal on Wed­nes­day around 3pm.

The flight left Sin­ga­pore at 11pm lo­cal time on Tues­day, land­ing in Can­berra shortly af­ter 8am Aus­tralia time (10am NZ time).

Sin­ga­pore Air­lines aimed to have the Boe­ing 777-200 air­craft on the tar­mac in Can­berra for less than 90 min­utes, with pas­sen­gers not need­ing to clear Cus­toms.

The air­line put on a show for the in­au­gu­ral pas­sen­gers, which in­cluded speeches, food and drink, singing and pho­tos.

The air­line says the route will run four times a week on 266-seat retro­fit­ted Boe­ing with 38 busi­ness class seats and 228 econ­omy seats.

As well as open­ing up Welling­ton’s first long-haul con­nec­tion, it marks the be­gin­ning of di­rect flights be­tween the cap­i­tal cities of New Zealand and Aus­tralia.

Seats for the new flight went on sale in Jan­uary, with re­turn flights from Welling­ton to Sin­ga­pore start­ing at $1808.

Sin­ga­pore Air­lines had been in talks with Welling­ton for about two years about a route to the cap­i­tal.

Sin­ga­pore Air­lines now flies di­rect from Welling­ton to Can­berra.

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