In September of last year, Singapore Airlines commenced their ‘Capital Express’ route. If you’re not aware, the routing is Singapore to Canberra to Wellington.

The flights operate 4 times a week, and they are operated by a 777-200 which is in a 2 class configuration. The aircraft seats 266 passengers and the aircraft that operates the Capital Express route is always the regional Business Class product.

Singapore Airlines 777-200 (Image – Singapore Airlines)

When the route first launched the loads were quite good and looked promising, sadly that’s quickly gone down hill for the airline. They are struggling to fill seats, especially on the Wellington legs.

The ‘Capital Express’ Routing

Courtesy of the ABC:

”Federal Government figures show passengers getting on and off the Singapore Airline flights in Canberra have been filling about half the available seats to and from Singapore and 25 per cent to and from Wellington.

However, December figures show on average 37 per cent of the 266 seats from Singapore to Canberra were occupied by people travelling to the national capital.”

Obviously, that isn’t good numbers for the airline. I could see Singapore Airlines scrapping the Wellington legs and just flying direct to Canberra. This would make sense as the carrier is getting marginally better numbers to and from Singapore. Passengers that are wanting to go to wellington have the option of using a Virgin Australia flight out of Sydney or Melbourne. Who knows, Virgin may even start a flight from Canberra to Wellington.

It’s definitely interesting to see the load factor of the service and get an idea of what the demand is like. I’m now even more intrigued to see how Qatar will perform when they start services in February 2018. Qatar will also go daily which will be very interesting, I’d say the route will be reduced quite quickly as I think they will also have a hard time to fill seats.

Both Singapore and Qatar do excellent out of major Australia airports and it’s sad to see Canberra not performing well, Is Canberra ready for more International services and is the demand there for Canberra?

Featured Image – Singapore Airlines