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Monday, July 15, 2024

Singapore Airlines launches service to Cairns

SINGAPORE Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 Medium Haul aircraft has touched down in Cairns, marking an exciting new chapter for SIA in the region.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) Regional Vice President, South West Pacific, Louis Arul said the upgrade to a larger aircraft on the Singapore-Cairns route showed the Airline’s confidence in the Tropical North Queensland market.

“The introduction of the Airbus A350 is a significant investment in the future of this direct major tourism and cargo route, reflecting our confidence in North Queensland’s tourism and trade market,” he said.

“The new service builds on the almost 10-year history of the SIA Group in Cairns. We are delighted to deliver around 23,000 extra seats as well as an additional almost 2,500 tonnes of cargo capacity per year to North Queensland exporters.”

The inaugural SIA operated flight SQ203 arrived at 17:00 local time on Sunday 31 March, heralding new increased services and capacity for the region.

SIA’s new widebody operations out of Cairns from March 2024 is expected to provide a significant boost to North Queensland’s economy, with more seats for tourists exploring the region, and more cargo capacity benefiting exporters to markets in Asia, Europe, India, Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

The increased seat capacity is also a welcome addition for North Queensland residents travelling to Europe and Asia, with seamless connections via Singapore.

Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer Richard Barker welcomed the new services and increased passenger and cargo capacity for Tropical North Queensland.

“For more than 610,000 international visitors expected this year, including 80,000 travelling via Singapore, Cairns Airport is the gateway to world-class natural attractions, unique cultural experiences and countless tourism opportunities across Tropical North Queensland,” he said.

“Singapore Airlines already supports 13 per cent of international demand for Cairns travellers, and the new services and increased cargo capacity are a welcome investment in the continuing growth of regional tourism.”

Tourism Minister Michael Healy said the new service was another successful outcome of the $200 million joint Queensland Government and industry Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.

“Singapore Airlines bringing the A350 widebody aircraft into Cairns is such an important link to our traditional long- haul markets; we’re talking the US, we’re talking Europe and Asia,” he said.

“This increased capacity also provides huge opportunities for our agricultural and aquaculture industries to sell directly into these markets. What that means is we can make flights more economically viable. If we can fill the bottom of those planes with fresh produce, and fill the top of them with travellers, it will guarantee that route for a very, very long time.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen welcomed the arrival of the Singapore Airlines A350 service, which would bring a $26.5 million boost to the region’s economy.

“The more than 8300 business class seats a year on the Singapore Airlines flights to Cairns will attract high-value travellers including the all-important business events sector which brings even stronger economic benefits to the destination,” he said.

“There is strong interest in this route from European travellers who have been constrained by seat capacity, which has now increased by 50 per cent.”

SQ204 will operate between Cairns and Singapore as a four-times weekly service on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Cairns at 18:15 and arriving in Singapore at 22:40 local time.

SQ203 will operate the Singapore to Cairns route also as a four-times weekly service on

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Singapore at 8.40 and arriving in Cairns at 17:00 local time.

The aircraft has a 303-seat capacity, in a dual cabin configuration. The Business Class cabin contains 40 seats which seamlessly recline into a full-flat bed in a 1-2-1 configuration. The 263 Economy Class seats feature ergonomically designed backrest contour and a six-way headrest. The seat configuration is a 3-3-3 layout.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: TAS expands early learning services and Seagrass meadows face uncertain future.

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