Singapore Airlines announce daily flights from Melbourne, Sydney for vaccinated travellers from November 8

Singapore Airlines has announced two daily flights from Melbourne and Sydney to Singapore, after the opening of a new vaccinated-only travel lane on November 8.

Scoot, Singapore Airline's low-cost subsidiary, will also operate a daily service from Melbourne, and four services a week from Sydney.

SIA will operate three Airbus A350-900s on the routes, two from Melbourne and one from Sydney, with the second afternoon flight from the latter operating on a Boeing 777-300ER. All flights are now available for booking via the Singapore Airlines' website.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 at Changi Airport.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 at Changi Airport. Photo: Wallace Woon

"Singapore Airlines looks forward to welcoming our customers on board our flights, where they continue to enjoy our world-class products and service," said Mr Louis Arul, Singapore Airlines regional vice-president, south west Pacific.

"SIA customers can also travel in confidence, with the industry-leading health and safety measures that have been put in place to ensure their well-being."

The Singapore government announced on Tuesday night that it was opening up new vaccinated-only travel lanes with Australia and Switzerland, adding to 10 previously established arrangements with European countries and the United States and another soon to open with South Korea.

The link will enable fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and their family members to fly to Singapore and back without quarantining, although they will initially be able to land only in Sydney and Melbourne, with other states yet to flag a reopening.

Beyond that, students from Singapore and travellers on business are expected to be able to use the travel lane “after Australia has finalised the arrangement for their entry”, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said.

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“We look forward to doing more with Australia and Australia opening up further,” the Singapore Transport Minister, S Iswaran, said.

“But we also recognise that every country has to make its own assessment of its circumstances, both in terms of infection rates, vaccination rates etc. What we would want to do is make sure these initial arrangements work well so that both sides have the confidence to do more and facilitate travel for a wider group of travellers.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicated last Friday that Australia would provide early access to re-enter the country to Singaporean students under a deal proposed by his Singapore counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, when Morrison stopped in the city state in June en route to the G7-plus summit in England.

Along with business travellers from Singapore, they stand to represent the first significant group of international arrivals to Australia, apart from those entering from New Zealand, since the country’s borders were closed in March 2020.

Entry to Australia for those visa classes, however, is not signed off yet. “Details for this arrangement will be announced by Australia later,” the Civil Aviation Authority said.

While the Australian corridor is different to the other 12 Singapore has set up in that two-way travel is not available to anyone, Iswaran described it as “significant” because Australia had previously been open only to New Zealand.

Passengers heading to Singapore from Australia will have to book on designated vaccinated-only flights to avoid quarantining. They will have to undertake a PCR test upon arrival at Changi airport and then isolate at their accommodation until they receive a negative test, a process which takes a matter of hours. Children under 12 can travel without being vaccinated if they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated passenger.

Singapore has fully vaccinated more than 84 per cent of its 5.7 million population, mainly with Pfizer and Moderna. Its extension of international travel comes despite tight restrictions on gatherings remaining in place as its health system is put under strain with more than 3000 new cases per day.

Its vaccinated-only flights have brought in more than 5000 passengers since they began from Germany and Brunei in early September. Iswaran said five travellers on those flights had tested positive for COVID-19 after landing at Changi.

Singapore is home to more than 25,000 Australians while there are more than 50,000 Singaporeans living in Australia.

See also: Feast for the senses: 20 reasons to visit Asia's capital of fun

See also: Singapore Airlines brings back superjumbo to Australian route

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