Singapore Airlines Adds 4th Daily Service to Melbourne

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By Vittorio Hernandez | December 20, 2012 10:02 AM EST

The battle for supremacy in Australian skies continues as Singapore Airlines joins the frenzy to get a larger slice of the aviation market by announcing on Wednesday a fourth daily service to Melbourne and the scaling up of services to Adelaide.

With the announcement, the air carrier would operate 28 flights weekly from Melbourne and 12 from Adelaide beginning July 1, 2013 or a total of 121 the weekly air trips operated by SIA between Singapore and Australian cities.

SIA will use different jets such as the S380, 777 and A330.

However, while increasing its Australian trips. SIA will withdraw non-stop services from Los Angeles and Newark beginning October 2013 as part of SIA's withdrawal of its A340-500 aircraft.

With the addition of more trips, SIA will compete with Virgin Australia which has partnered with Etihad, and Qantas which has partnered with Emirates. The SIA move, in a way, favoured Qantas which was granted on Thursday by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission conditional approval of its alliance with Emirates.

The ACCC said the Qantas-Emirates deal would likely provide material but not substantial benefits to Australian consumers.

Besides SIA, Air Canada is also mulling the addition of a second Australian destination, likely Melbourne, disclosed Air Canada Chief Executive Calin Rovinescu. However, the second hub would have to wait until Boeing delivers Air Canada's order of the 787-9 Dreamliner jet in 2015.

For its Sydney-Vancouver route, Air Canada has increased to 10 from 7 the weekly flights to take advantage of the Christmas peak travel season, particularly Australians who want to ski in North America for the yearend holiday, while the rest of Aussies down under bake in the summer sun.

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