Singapore Airlines’ regional carrier SilkAir has started flying daily services between Cairns and Singapore.
The new daily schedule, which was first announced in December 2018 in response to increasing demand on the route, began on Monday.
This week also marked four years since the launch of SilkAir flights between the two ports.
The expansion, from five to seven flights would increase capacity on the route by 40 per cent. It is the only carrier with nonstop service between the two cities.
The Singapore-Cairns route is served with a split schedule comprising overnight departures from Singapore on Monday, Thursday and Saturday and morning flights from Cairns.
On the other four days of the week, the flight leaves Singapore in the morning and returns from Cairns in the early evening.
Singapore Airlines regional vice president for the southwest Pacific Philip Goh said there had been a sustained increase in demand on the route.
This included passengers headed to Far North Queensland from around the Singapore Airlines network, as well as people from Cairns headed to Singapore and beyond.
“Since launching our Cairns service four years ago on a circular routing via Darwin three times per week, we’ve grown steadily to daily, thanks to the tremendous support of our customers and partners, Cairns Airport, Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Tropical North Queensland,” Goh said in a statement.
SilkAir started flying to Cairns in May 2015, initially as part of a triangular Singapore-Darwin-Cairns-Singapore routing.
Cairns and Darwin were de-linked in 2016, with Silkair offering nonstop flights to both cities. It will introduce a seventh weekly service from Darwin to Singapore on 6 July.
SilkAir became Australia’s first Boeing 737 MAX operator 16 months ago when it deployed the latest incarnation of Boeing’s narrowbody jet on the Cairns and Darwin route.
However, the route is currently served with 737-800s, following the global grounding of the fleet in response to two fatal crashes involving Ethiopian Airlines (March 2019) and Lion Air (October 2018).