Canberra Airport goes international
21 September 2016
Canberra has finally opened its doors to the world with the first international flights taking off today.
For the first time in history, travellers can now fly direct from Canberra to Wellington and Singapore via the new ‘Capital Express’ service operated by Singapore Airlines.
The long-awaited service is the first step towards Canberra Airport becoming a gateway for international travel and is expected to boost tourism, business and investment opportunities between the three capital cities.
The flight schedules are as follows:
-SQ292 Canberra-Singapore: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday departing 11:30pm
-SQ291 Singapore-Canberra: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday departing 11pm
-SQ291 Canberra-Wellington: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday departing 9:50am
-SQ292 Wellington-Canberra: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday departing at 8:15pm
The vision to internationalise Canberra’s airport has been years in the making, with Capital Airport Group investing more than $2 billion in facilities since 1998 to build an airport representative of Australia’s capital city.
A report from Tourism Research Australia, which was released on August 31, shows that Canberra had already experienced a surge in overseas visitors prior to the commencement of international flights.
More than 203,000 international visitors arrived in Canberra over the last 12 months, with Singaporean visitors up 41 per cent and New Zealand visitors up by more than 15 per cent. China remains the ACT’s strongest market with more than 28,000 people visiting the capital in 2015.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the rising number of visitors has subsequently increased international visitor expenditure by 13.6 per cent to $409 million, providing a significant injection of funds into the local economy.
As a local business that is also committed to building Canberra, GEOCON is excited about having investment and business opportunities at its doorstep.
“Canberra is evolving into a 21st century city and opening up its borders will ensure the city continues to move forward,” said Managing Director Nick Georgalis.
“International accessibility is critical to the city’s growth, but it will benefit us too. Our developments are already attracting interest from overseas investors and we expect that will increase now people can fly directly to Canberra.
“Not to mention our projects are conveniently located in town centres that are a short drive from the airport.”
GEOCON’s hotel division – Abode Hotels – is also gearing up for the flow on benefits of Canberra’s new international status.
General Manager Abode Hotels, Rien Donkin said it was a particularly exciting time for the chain following the recent opening of the No.10 restaurant at Abode Woden, the expansion of Abode into the Murrumbateman wine region and GEOCON’s recent purchase of a site in Braddon where it plans to build a new inner-city precinct complete with an Abode Hotel.
“Our own growth plans are taking place at the right time,” Mr Donkin said.
“The international airport is not just opening up Canberra but our entire region for overseas visitors to easily access and experience what we have to offer – nature, outdoors, food and wine.
“This is an exciting development for the Canberra region and we are excited to be part of it.”
Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons; Roderick Eime