Silkair lands in Cairns

Silkair Boeing 737-800 9V-MGJ at Cairns Airport. (Cairns Airport/Youtube)
Silkair Boeing 737-800 9V-MGJ at Cairns Airport. (Cairns Airport/Youtube)

Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) regional wing Silkair has commenced service to a second Australian port, with MI 828 touching down in Cairns on Saturday morning.

Silkair’s Boeing 737-800 9V-MGJ arrived to a traditional water cannon salute just before 1020 local time following the six hour and 15 minute journey from Singapore.

The aircraft was on the ground for almost two hours before returning to Singapore via Darwin.

Silkair started direct flights to Darwin in March 2012, its first destination in Australia, and first announced plans to operate to Cairns in November 2014.

The airline will fly from Singapore to Cairns via Darwin on Mondays and Thursdays, with a non-stop flight on Saturdays.

The return from Cairns to Singapore will be non-stop on Mondays and Thursdays, while those heading to the city-state or beyond on Saturdays will travel via Darwin.

“We are excited to be adding Cairns in our growing network and we look forward to connecting thrill-seeking leisure travellers with Australia’s adventure capital,” Silkair chief executive Leslie Thng said in a statement.

“This new route will also allow us to provide connectivity to travellers from Australia to Singapore and the rest of the world via our joint SilkAir-Singapore Airlines network of more than 90 destinations in 35 countries.”

Silkair's inaugural flight to Cairns sits at the departure gate. (Cairns Airport/Facebook)
Silkair’s inaugural flight to Cairns sits at the departure gate. (Cairns Airport/Facebook)

Cairns Airport chief executive Kevin Brown described Singapore as a “key link” in the airport’s international network that gave holiday visitors from Asia and Europe a new option for easy access direct into the North Queensland city.

“It also offers convenient new options for local people to travel overseas, whether to enjoy Singapore as a destination in its own right or to connect through to other destinations,” Brown said.

SIA alliance partner Virgin Australia codeshares on Silkair’s new Cairns route. SIA owns about 23 per cent of Virgin and its chief executive Goh Choon Phong sits on the Australian airline’s board.

In addition to Silkair, Cairns Airport currently receives international service from Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong), Jetstar (Denpasar, Osaka Kansai and Tokyo Narita) and United (Guam).

The airport also has seasonal international service to Auckland with Air New Zealand, while China Eastern and China Southern have also served Cairns on a seasonal from their hubs Shanghai and Guangzhou, respectively.

And Philippine Airlines will fly a Manila-Cairns-Auckland routing four times a week from December.

Cairns Airport posted a video of the first flight, which can be seen below:

Comments

  1. Tropicalcat says

    I just can’t see this service lasting. Min rtn fare is $850 and I was looking at a trip in July and got $1700!!!! Looked at a few other dates and found this wasn’t an isolated event. Most fares in the mid teens.
    Why would they price for failure?? It just doesn’t make sense, we are a leisure market with weak outbound and limited business travel, given the move of the Kangaroo route to go via the ME now you’d think they would realise the glory days of SIN ex Australia are over and that flights would need price stimulation.

  2. Ante C says

    I bet that if Qantas did this route 2-3 times a week it would attract a few customers.

  3. Judge Dee says

    I was looking for a return flight in late October/early November & found these, departing on 31 October 15 & returning as follows:

    Sat 7 Nov $902.59
    Sun 8 Nov $4,552.14
    Mon 9 Nov $852.59

    Perhaps someone with some knowledge of flight pricing can explain the Sunday return price hike.