Singapore Airlines has announced that it will again increase capacity on its Australian routes, and bring its new 737 MAX jets to Darwin, as travel demand continues to improve.
The carrier revealed on Sunday that it will increase flight frequency to Melbourne to four times per day from Wednesday, 1 June, on its Airbus A350-900 aircraft, while services to Cairns will increase to five times per week, as of Monday, 30 May.
Meanwhile, Singapore will begin operating its new 737 MAX jets to the Northern Territory from 2 June, with services to Darwin also increasing to five times per week, as of Tuesday, 31 May.
The airline said the changes come in light of steadily increasing demand, which has continued to improve since Australia first opened its borders on 1 November 2021, and eased restrictions for international tourists from 21 February.
Singapore Airlines regional vice president, south-west Pacific, Louis Arul said the carrier has remained “nimble” throughout the changing restrictions of the pandemic, allowing it to now readily increase capacity and introduce new aircraft to the Australian market.
“Since Australia’s borders opened on 1 November last year and as other countries have removed travel restrictions, we have seen continued growth in demand for travel,” Arul said.
“Australia has always been an important part of our global network since we first operated here in 1967, and we are pleased to have not only kept the country connected during the height of the pandemic but are in a position to support the recovery with increased operations.
“Increasing services to holiday destinations such as Cairns and Darwin in the lead up to peak season, shows that leisure travel is continuing to recover strongly.”
Arul also stated the increasing capacity in Melbourne to four flight per day is the result of “collaborative efforts” of Melbourne Airport and the state government to support SIA’s increasing operations.
The changes bring Singapore’s total weekly flights between Singapore and its seven Australian ports to 113, with an additional 23 flights per week operated by its low-cost subsidiary Scoot.
“We will continue to remain nimble to ensure Australia remains connected with the right aircraft and schedules that will further support and facilitate the continued growth in travel demand, both to and from Australia,” he said.
From Monday, 30 May, SQ203/204 connecting Cairns and Singapore will operate every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, bringing international travellers directly to the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
Then, from Tuesday, 31 May, SQ251/252 to and from Darwin will begin operating every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
It comes as Singapore Changi Airport finally reopened its Terminal 2 on Sunday, after over two years of closure due to the pandemic and ahead of an expected rise of international travellers in the coming months.
The terminal was first closed in May 2020, originally set for just an 18-month pause over a decline in passenger travel.
Singapore is a major travel market for Australians and is an important gateway for other nations including Indonesia, India and Malaysia. The reopening of the terminal marks a major win for the nation’s aviation market amid the ongoing post-pandemic recovery.
“CAG is encouraged to see the strong pick-up in travel demand and has worked closely with our partners to bring forward the progressive reopening of T2 ahead of the June travel peak to meet this demand,” said Tan Lye Teck, CAG’s executive vice president of airport management.
“The start of flight operations at T2 will provide more capacity to support our airline partners, who are also gearing up to serve more passengers in the months ahead.”