SINGAPORE: Chongqing-based airline West Air will commence operation of a thrice-weekly service between Singapore and the western Chinese city on a 180-seater Airbus A320-200 starting Thursday (Feb 4).
In a news release, Changi Airport Group (CAG) said the arrival of West Air strengthens Singapore’s connectivity to Western China, opening up more opportunities for both trade and leisure travel between the two destinations.
According to the airport operator, the new service, which represents the Chinese carrier’s first international service, comes on the back of a bilateral pledge to grow air connectivity between Singapore and Chongqing, among others, on Jan 8.
A six-party Memorandum of Strategic Cooperation involving Changi Airport Group (CAG), Chongqing Airport Group, SilkAir, Air China Limited Chongqing Branch, China West Air, and Chongqing Airlines was made to enhance air connectivity between both countries.
Under this agreement, both airports will work closely with the airline partners to mount new flights and increase flight frequencies. Both airports will also support the airlines to develop connectivity from cities in Western China, such as Urumqi, Xining, Lhasa, via Chongqing to Singapore, “cultivating the aviation market between Singapore and relevant cities under China’s One Belt, One Road plan”, CAG said.
Going forward, CAG Senior Vice President for Market Development Lim Ching Kiat said the airport operator will continue to work with its partners under the framework “to develop air connectivity and promote both trade and tourism flow between the two cities and our respective air hubs”.
With West Air’s entrance, there are 12 airlines at Changi Airport operating direct services to China, offering about 560 weekly flights between the two countries, the press release said.