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International Flights From Canberra, Australia.

Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:30 pm

Have there been/are there any International routes flown from Canberra, Australia, and if not, why not - just curious.
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RE: International Flights From Canberra, Australia.

Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:23 am

I have often wondered about this. Surely its status as captain means it could support flights to Wellington or Auckland?

given that according to the airport website they have 30 flights a day to Sydney, at least some of that must be connecting so surely there must be at least a limited market for NZ flights?
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RE: International Flights From Canberra, Australia.

Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:30 am

As far as I know there are currently NO international flights. Not even to NZ.
Canberra has domestic connections to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Newcastle, Gold Coast and Albury.
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RE: International Flights From Canberra, Australia.

Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:51 am

I do not think there are any international flights out of Canberra at the moment at all. The airport does have an international terminal, and in 2004 or so, the first scheduled international flights (that I ever heard of) commenced on a twice weekly basis to Nadi, Fiji with Air Pacific. The service seems to have been discontinued.

The airport is a reasonable size. It is shared with the RAAF (air force) and local and overseas government planes use the airport on their state visits. The airport's website has a pic of George Bush arriving in one of the president's planes - a 747 by the look of it, probably the famed Air Force 1.

Canberra is not so big (about 300,000 people) and it is only about 300km from Sydney, which has the busiest international airport in the country by far. Canberra's domestic flight operations are robust and so anyone travelling there from overseas would transfer at Sydney, or perhaps even Melbourne.

According to Canberra airport's website, there is a masterplan in place for attracting international flights. But with Sydney not so far away (in Australian terms), it will probably not attract international flights beyond a few leisure destinations, such as in New Zealand and other nearby Pacific islands like Fiji; and these would be by LCC's like Pacific Blue, the Virgin entity that operates between Aust, NZ and a few Pacific islands; Jetstar (the Qantas LCC), who announced that they will commence international operations to NZ later this year; and Freedom Air, Air NZ's LCC subsidiary.

I wish the Canberra airport admin every success in getting international operations happening there - but I would not hold my breath even for the LCCs to commence int'l operations out of there in the forseeable future.

You might be interested to know that in the 1980s, Hobart (Tasmania) opened an international terminal at their airport. There were a few flights to NZ, but it was later closed. I believe the particular terminal is now used by domestic LCC's. Hobart and Canberra are the only state/territory capitals with no regularly scheduled international operations.
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RE: International Flights From Canberra, Australia.

Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:53 am

There have been international flights in the past. Hence the name, when you click on the link.

Have a look around there, and the Master Plan that they have.

Don't bother looking at Arrivals and Departures. It still doesn't work, and I have given up e mailing asking why. My partner was there for 4 months this year, and all I wanted to know was if the plane was on time so I know when to go to the airport.

What about Hobart International Airport too?
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RE: International Flights From Canberra, Australia.

Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:05 am

Canberra is a 'pure' capital city, built for the purpose. Its population is only about 300,000, and it has only a very small business community. The politicians don't live there, they live in their home cities (even the Prime Minister lives in Sydney!).

In addition, all international flights from Australia require first-line, relatively long-range aircraft. New Zealand may look close to Australia on the map, but in fact the main Australian and New Zealand cities are at least as far away from each other as Los Angeles is from New York - and London is from say Cairo...

So, all in all, there is no way that the place could generate enough business or tourist traffic to make it worth setting up regular international flights.

[Edited 2005-06-10 18:07:15]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
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RE: International Flights From Canberra, Australia.

Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:25 am

Hey there, I lived in Canberra the past year and I remember there being this fuss at the local travel agents saying how Air Pacific had nonstop flights from Canberra to Nadi using a 73G. Indeed, Canberra is small city (but not all that small for Australian standards), and is relatively "close" (3.5 hour bus ride) to Sydney. For many people, it is simply more convenient to take the bus to Sydney and fly out of there. Canberra has flights connecting with all the major places in Australia, but I also rememeber people making a fuss when Virginblue and Regional Express stopped flying the SYD-CBR route and claimed that QANTAS was going to gouge prices on the route.
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RE: International Flights From Canberra, Australia

Sat Jun 11, 2005 2:12 am


Hope on the great circle mapper mate and correct yourself. Canberra to Auckland would be 1.5-2 hours shorter flying time than JFK-LAX.

Here's something to ponder. If Boeing is right about fragmentation in a growing market then there will be 787s connecting Canberra to the main Qantas hub at Singapore by 2010 as that makes for an easier connection than Sydney.

Similarly if Boeing is right (and I'm on two minds over this) we will have 787s going daily to Hong Kong and probably to other cities in China and Japan by 2015.

A lot will depend what happens in Western Sydney too. If something the size of Stanstead isn't built at Badgerys Creek to deal with major growth driven by the M7 Westlink, the 100-115 minute drive south-west to Canberra Airport along the Hume Freeway and Canberra Freeway is going to look good compared to the much shorter distance but similar drive time experienced getting from the western side of Sydney to its airport.

Newcastle Airport has gone from 214,000 pax year in 2003 to 720,000 pax for this year simply because of the low cost carriers. Over half of those passengers are from the central coast dormitory suburbs for Sydney and even down to Hornsby itself just because the roads into Sydney and its airport are totally stuffed at the critical times.

That demonstrates the willigness of the far north and far west of Sydney to take up alternatives when they become available.

If Boeing is right Canberra has an excellent chance of frequent daily 787s within 10 years.

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RE: International Flights From Canberra, Australia.

Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:41 am

It's more likely that there'll be international flights @ CBR and HBA in the future.
CBR could be seen as a SYD back-up, given the australian distances.
CBR - AKL and CBR - SIN (mainly for hub connections) plus HBA - AKL and HBA - SIN could be a reality.
Rightnow, neither a B737-700 nor a A319 have the range for SIN - CBR/HBA (6202Km / 6552Km respectively), a B757, B767, A310 or A330 must be used for those thin traffic routes and flying daily those routes won't make the numbers. As soon as those B787 and A350 are available, the situation could change and one could foresee Singapore Airliens or a SIN based LCC maybe getting into those australian cites.
Is there a demand for cargo/pax traffic between HBA - HKG and Japan?
Fresh produce? Chinese, Japanese tourists? That could probably mean 1-2 weekly Tasmania - HKG / Japan flights.
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
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RE: International Flights From Canberra, Australia.

Sat Jun 11, 2005 5:20 am

Just a question. Isn't Air Force one any plane carrying the US president?
These are my principles but if you don't like them I have others
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RE: International Flights From Canberra, Australia.

Sat Jun 11, 2005 6:32 am

Thanks a lot everyone for those answers

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