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NZ: new flights link Wellington to Asia

Singapore Airlines is launching a new route between Singapore and Wellington, via Canberra, which connects New Zealand’s capital to lucrative Asian markets for the first time.

The route will provide stronger connectivity between New Zealand and Australia's capitals, and Asia. Photo: Peter Bakema

Last year, there were 125,011 international students in New Zealand

The route, which will begin in September this year, will be the first flight without transfers from Wellington to Asia, cutting the current travelling time, as well as providing a route to Australia’s capital.

In addition to opening up the region for more trade and tourism, this new route also carries benefits for international education in the region, according to Chris Whelan, chief executive of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency.

“We believe Wellington is currently underperforming in international education attraction”

“We’ve made no secret of the fact that we believe Wellington is currently underperforming in international education attraction and we intend to change that,” said Whelan.

“This connectivity is exceptionally timely as we put together our plan to transform the region’s performance in this highly valuable sector.”

Last year, there were 125,011 international students in New Zealand, of which only 6% were based in Wellington.

Auckland, on the other hand, claimed 63% of the international student share, according to the 2015 Education New Zealand international student snapshot.

The route will make a stop in Canberra, but passengers won’t need to go through customs to fly on to Singapore.

“This isn’t just about Singapore and Canberra, it’s about connectivity via Singapore as a hub to and from destinations throughout Asia and the world,” said Whelan.

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