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.