Singapore Airlines suspends flights to Canberra & Wellington indefinitely

Service to Canberra had begun in 2016.

Matthias Ang | September 15, 2020, 06:31 PM

On Sep. 14, Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced that it had suspended flights indefinitely to Canberra, along with flights between Melbourne and Wellington, due to lacking demand.

ABC News reported that the Australian capital of Canberra will no longer have any direct international flights.

Covid-19 has "stunted demand"

A SIA statement cited by Australian media said the impact of Covid-19 had contributed to the decision to suspend services.

It stated:

"Unfortunately the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry has led to Singapore Airlines having to make the very difficult decision to suspend services to Canberra and Wellington."

"This decision is an extremely difficult one considering the dedication and commitment of our staff, and the hard work put in with our partners over the past few years … but it is necessary as we expect travel demand to remain stunted for a long period of time."

Chief Minister: SIA's decision is "expected"

In response, Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the decision by SIA was "expected".

The Canberra Times further quoted him as stating: "This suspension came as part of a broader announcement from Singapore Airlines that they are also laying off over 4,000 people from their workforce."

Barr had spent over 10 years attempting to attract international airlines to Canberra.

In voicing his hope for flights by Singapore Airlines to return once more, he added: "When the time is right we look forward to working with Canberra Airport and Singapore Airlines to return international flights to Canberra."

Flight service began on September 21, 2016

According to ABC News, flights between Singapore and Canberra had began on Sep. 21, 2016, and ran four times a week prior to its suspension.

The service had also included a leg from Canberra to Wellington.

However, the Canberra-Wellington service was dropped in January 2018 as a result of weak demand and replaced by the now-suspended Melbourne-Wellington service.

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