Singapore Airlines’ A350-900 flies into the Capital for the first time

1 Nov 2019

Singapore Airlines' A350-900 arriving in Wellington for the first time

Wellington Airport has welcomed one of the world’s most advanced aircraft to the Capital today with Singapore Airline’s A350-900 making its inaugural flight into the city and arriving at 12.55pm.

The A350-900 is the first aircraft out of Wellington to offer customers the option of flying Premium Economy. It also features lie-flat Business Class seats and a new ergonomically designed Economy Class seat.

It has been years in the making following Wellington Airport’s initiative to organise and fund a trial of the A350-900 on its runway to test its performance and gain the necessary operating approvals from Airbus.

From 1 January 2020, Singapore Airlines is boosting the number of flights from four to five times weekly on the Wellington-Singapore route via Melbourne in response to increasing demand for services.

“The decision by the most award-winning airline to bring this modern aircraft to the city is a vote of confidence in the region and Wellington Airport - we are proud of the role we have had to play in making that happen,” says Wellington Airport CEO Steve Sanderson.

The A350 is not only providing the latest cabin offering but it is also around 20% more fuel efficient, and quieter than its predecessor.

“We have enjoyed a great partnership with Singapore Airlines leading up to the launch of the Wellington service and over the last three years it has been operating,” Mr Sanderson said.

“Thanks to the connectivity Singapore Airlines provides, visitors from Asia and Europe are now spending $79m more per year in Wellington than before the service.

“There has also been a 37% increase in visitors from Asia overall with Singaporean visitor numbers up by 118%, Indian visitors up by 105%, and Indonesia up 50%

“We look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with Singapore Airlines and building on these strong foundations.”

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Singapore Airlines Regional Vice President Mr Philip Goh acknowledged the work undertaken by Wellington Airport and thanked them for their continued support.

“Since we began planning for this route Wellington Airport has been a wonderful partner to work alongside” Mr Goh said.

“Thanks to our strong relationship, we have been able to make continued improvements in our service to Wellington, so I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Steve Sanderson and his team at Wellington Airport for their support and commitment for the successes we share up to this point.

“We look forward with excitement at this new chapter in our operations in Wellington and being able to continue working closely with Wellington Airport and the local travel trade to grow the service.

“Wellington truly is a world class city with an array of attractions for every traveller and Wellington Airport is the perfect entry point for anyone looking to explore New Zealand.”

Wellington is continuing to grow as a domestic and international tourism destination, experiencing the largest increase in visitor spend for the year ended September 2019, including a 12% increase from International visitors. Mr Sanderson added that visitors from Asia and Europe are spending $79 million more per year in Wellington than before the service started, an increase of 23%.

“The Singapore airlines service has helped to drive more visitors and business travel to Wellington, making it easier and more affordable, and encouraging new opportunities. The route has increased overseas awareness in what the region has to offer and, as a result, has opened up travel itineraries throughout the country.”

“The increase to five flights per week is expected to bring more travellers from Asia, which is great news not only for the Wellington economy but the whole of central New Zealand.

Wellington Airport has partnered with WellingtonNZ, Tourism New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and travel agents in Asia on a series of overseas initiatives designed to put Wellington on the map.