People visiting Australia in 2012 are set to see better transport arrangements with a raft of new flights to and from the country and improved internal rail services.
Jetstar’s first daily Melbourne/Singapore/Beijing service has launched, making Australia an easier destination to visit for Chinese visitors. The service is operated on an Airbus A330, with a capacity of 303 passengers across business and economy classes.
From the middle of 2013 Jetstar will be the first low cost carrier to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which will gradually replace its A330s.
Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia have announced the first two milestones of their recently approved alliance which will create new international and domestic routes to Darwin and the launch of frequent flyer programme co-operation.
As part of a joint plan to increase services to northern Australia, Singapore Airlines’ regional full service airline, SilkAir, will begin a four times weekly service between Singapore and Darwin from March 26th 2012 and Virgin Australia will complement these services with a daily service between Sydney and Darwin from April 2nd 2012.
The two airlines have also started reciprocal frequent flyer recognition, enabling KrisFlyer members to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Virgin Australia’s entire network and Velocity members to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Singapore Airlines operated flights. Reciprocal lounge access is also available for eligible customers.
Singapore Airlines executive vice president commercial and SilkAir chairman Mak Swee Wah said in a statement that extensive international connections will be delivering tangible benefits to customers, with more choice for domestic and international travel.
Virgin Australia also announced that it would open a lounge at Darwin Airport that would accommodate eligible Virgin Australia guests and those of its alliance partners. The two airlines expect to commence code sharing on each other’s services from early 2012.
‘The alliance with Singapore Airlines enables us to open up important new routes in Australia and Asia and we have moved quickly to identify and realise this opportunity with our new partner,’ explained Merren McArthur, Virgin Australia group executive of alliances, network and yield management.
After about three years of detailed planning and preconstruction activities, the New South Wales (NSW) Government and the Commonwealth have signed an agreement to upgrade train tracks heading north from Sydney.
The $1 billion upgrade will improve services by relieving a current bottleneck on the main line between Melbourne and Brisbane.