Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 September 2017) . . Page.. 3885 ..
Tourism—direct international flights
MS ORR: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, given that we are coming up to one year of direct international flights to two destinations from Canberra, operated by Singapore Airlines, can you outline the flights’ achievements over the year and the benefits to the ACT, including convenience and timeliness for Canberra-based international travellers?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Orr for the question. I certainly can provide some information. It is exciting that we are almost at the one-year mark of these direct international flights, something that the government worked very hard to achieve, when there were a fair number of people, it would be fair to say, who thought it was a bit of a pipedream.
Opposition members interjecting—
MR BARR: Very supportive, of course, yes. The first Singapore Airlines flight to Canberra touched down on 21 September last year as part of the capital express route linking Singapore, Canberra and Wellington. As I am sure members are aware, direct flights bring a range of practical benefits, more international visitors to the city and the potential for significant export opportunities. I think this also symbolises Canberra’s emergence as a truly international city.
The best statistic—not strictly accurate but one that I am sure will find its way into the reporting from various ACT media outlets—is that this service is delivering 100 per cent more international flights than was the case previously. More accurately, flying the route four times a week is delivering almost 110,000 international seats through Canberra airport. I can advise members that 75 per cent of the passengers are arriving from Asia, including 29 per cent from Singapore, 12 per cent from India and 10 per cent from China. We have seen fairly significant growth in international visitor numbers, with the ACT seeing its highest ever number of visitors, who are spending the most that they have ever spent in our city. We have seen shipments of Canberra’s finest produce leave overnight and hit the dining tables and restaurants in Singapore the next day. (Time expired.)
MS ORR: Chief Minister, how has Canberra’s relationship with Singapore grown over the past year?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Orr for the question. As I was saying, our relationship with Singapore has strengthened by the fact that shipments of Canberra’s finest produce leave overnight and hit the dining tables and restaurants of Singapore the next day, with much more potential arising from these opportunities into the future.
Perhaps more importantly, it is certainly assisting Canberrans getting into Asia for work or holidays or getting home again to see their families. Our relationship with Singapore specifically has grown significantly since the flights commenced. The direct aviation connection has provided a platform for Canberra to generate a range of