Singapore Airline’s ‘Capital Express’ launched late last year, swiftly setting itself up as the business flyers choice when jaunting between Canberra and Wellington.
And who could blame people for being excited.
While there’s no shame in hopping aboard the usual suspects if you need to get from A to B but if you’re going to sit in a metal tube for 3 hours and you have the means, why not do it in style?
And that, friends, is what Singapore Airlines does best. Here’s what we mean…
Canberra to Wellington
Singapore Airlines flies between the Australian and New Zealand capitals 3-4 times a week (depending on the season).
The wide-bodied Boeing 777-200, which turns the notorious winds that make flying into Wellington airport so ‘exciting’ into just a few light bumps. Perfect for any nervous flyers.
12H & 12K sleeper recliner seats in a spacious 2-2-2 cabin configuration. This is a slightly older plane and what you might miss out on in complimentary noise-cancelling headphones you more than make up for in large comfy recliner chairs.
Let’s start with Canberra airport which, and we’re not overstating it, is a dream in terms of fluidity.
There are a ton of beautiful large airports around the world but for a smaller operation Canberra is not only a gorgeous piece of architecture (with an abundance floor to ceiling glass panels allowing maximum natural light) but the lack of crowds means it’s just extremely calming.
Not to mention that famously fast wi-fi.
Singapore Airlines co-shares the Business Class Lounge with Virgin Airlines, which doesn’t detract from the experience. Virgin has a strong reputation great artisan coffee and a generous breakfast spread (pancakes, eggs, bacon, the works) so this is very welcome treat for early flyers.
You’re going to want to hold off and leave a little room for the meals on the journey. More on this later.
Upon boarding you’re welcomed with the traditional orange juice or if you don’t have any meetings once you land, grab a glass of the Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne.
Throughout the flight you’re going to be consistently offered wine and cocktails which is exactly what you want when you’re up the pointy end of a plane. The fun part is perusing your menu and reflecting on whether to opt for the 2014 Stonier Pinot Noir from Mornington Peninsula or the 2012 Chateau Peyrabon Haut Medoc from Bordeaux.
There have been 3 sets of expert eyes across this selection, including Michael Hill Smith, Australia’s first-ever Master of Wine, and Jeannie Cho Lee, the first Asian Master of Wine (also voted the most powerful person in wine by Decanter Magazine in 2013).
As well as the palette of Oz Clarke, award-winning wine writer and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge.
We also appreciate the difficulties in delivering a fairly complicated cocktail 30,000ft in the air and so were impressed by Singapore Airlines 9 mixer options, ranging from the traditional Bloody Mary to the classic Singapore Sling (of course).
But let’s get down to the business of Business Class — the food.
It seems Singapore Airlines knows that Wellington draws a very food-centric type of traveller and so no expense has been spared to bring a little of that fondness for fine dining to the flight.
Due to the short duration of the journey (approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes) the airline serves up on a ‘Light Lunch’ on this leg. Which is a bit of a ruse because ‘light’ still includes an appetiser, main course, dessert and gourmet breads.
Starting with a seared tuna and nicoise salad with tomato, green beans, egg and herb vinaigrette.
The choice of mains range from a roasted chicken breast in bordelaise sauce, created by the multi-awarded Matt Moran of Sydney’s ARIA, to a cumin and coriander-crusted lamb loin with shallot jus, and a braised barramundi fillet in garlic chilli sauce.
You can see now why we reminded you to not to gorge too much at the Virgin Lounge.
No bones about it. There’s no entertainment selection we love quite as much as KrisWorld.
It’s strange that an in-flight movie selection can sum up an entire country but like Singapore as a whole, KrisWorld’s selection is incredibly diverse.
We’re talking not only a healthy selection of new release movies from the US (John Wick 2 was a highlight on this leg and there didn’t even seem to be any jarring cuts or edits to take it ‘airline friendly’).
With Krisworld you’ve got a ton of Indian romance, Arabic dramas, Asian action, English comedies, new release documentaries, mysteries, sports, science, travel, games for the kids.
There is literally so much to get through that it’s almost anxiety-inducing (in a good way).
Anyone who has ever run out of things to watch on a plane and been forced to fall asleep to the maddening tones of the Family Guy intro music will appreciate how wonderful having such a wide selection can be.
In a weird way, despite being a fleet that heralds from Asia, Singapore Airlines provides the perfect introduction to Wellington, a city that couldn’t be further from Singapore if it tried.
They’ve taken the time to study the local culinary scene and aimed to replicate it as much as possible in the air. They’ve served up more than enough cocktails to get you brave enough to attempt the Kiwi accent.
And, in typical Wellington style, they appreciate a good movie…
To find out why we love Wellington so much read: Wellington, New Zealand: 5 Reasons This City Will Make You Fall In Love & Never Want To Leave
COTW TRAVELLED AS GUESTS OF SINGAPORE AIRLINES