Australian capital prepares for first international flights

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Canberra Airport has unveiled the designs for its new international terminal, ahead of the launch of the Australian capital’s first international flights in September 2016.

Singapore Airlines will start flying to Canberra later this year, linking the city both with Singapore and New Zealand’s capital Wellington. And in preparation for these new services, Canberra Airport is embarking on a major AU$18 million (US$14m) renovation, the plans for which have now been revealed.

The new 2,750m² public departure lounge
The new 2,750m² public departure lounge

Designed by Guida Moseley Brown Architects, the new 2,750m² public departure lounge and 2,400m² arrival hall will be developed on the site of the existing terminal’s main hall. The plans include folding ceiling panels and skylights that provide more natural light, plus new business and media lounges, meeting rooms, a large F&B area, duty-free shopping and a variety of seating options.

Canberra Airport’s managing director, Stephen Byron, said the concept would more similar to an airline club lounge that an airport waiting area.

“We are breaking the rules here. All our customers will be treated as club lounge members with the best of design, furnishings and amenities in the general public areas,” Byron said. “We have delivered the best domestic terminal facility in the country, and will deliver the best international terminal to match it.”

He added that the airport was working closely with the Australian Border Force towards “the implementation of customs, quarantine and immigration facilities”.

SIA will fly its Boeing 777 aircraft to Canberra
SIA will fly its Boeing 777 aircraft to Canberra

First announced in January 2016, SIA’s new Singapore-Canberra-Wellington route has been nicknamed the “Capital Express”.

Effective 20 September 2016, flights will depart Singapore’s Changi Airport every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2300, arriving in Canberra at 0835 the next morning. The service will then take off from the Australian capital every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 0950, arriving in Wellington at 1505.

On the return leg, flights take off from the New Zealand capital at 2015 and touch down in Canberra at 2205. They then depart again at 2330 and arrive back in Singapore at 0550 the following morning.

SIA will serve the route using a 266-seat Boeing 777-200 aircraft with 38 seats in business class seats and 228 in economy.

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