First Singapore Airlines A350-900 arrives in Wellington to launch services

The arrival of the world's most advanced type of airliner, the Airbus A350, at Wellington Airport on Friday has sparked excitement from aviation fans, travellers and local businesses.

The flight was welcomed with a ceremonial water cannon salute as it pulled into the terminal.

Singapore Airlines' Philip Goh said its arrival is the next step in the airlines relationship with our capital city.

"Wellington is a great hub for culture, technology, dining and the arts. Serving the Wellington market with the A350-900 aircraft reinforces our commitment to the city, which we have proudly operated to since 2016," he said.

"As well as being the first airline to operate scheduled commercial services to Wellington using the A350-900, we are the first to offer customers the option of flying Premium Economy long-haul to Singapore and beyond."

Singapore Airlines Business Class
Singapore Airlines Business Class. Photo credit: Singapore Airlines

It's good news for Wellington Airport, too.

"The decision by the world's most awarded airline to bring this modern aircraft to the city is a vote of confidence in the region and Wellington Airport," says Steve Sanderson, chief executive of Wellington Airport, which recently announced a massive expansion including a longer runway.

The capital city's aviation enthusiasts have been preparing for Friday's arrival for some time.

Members of online forums have been up since early in the morning tracking the A350's flight progress.

Singapore Airlines is the first airline to operate scheduled commercial services using the twin-engine, wide-body jet to the New Zealand capital. It will fly to and from Singapore, via Melbourne.

The Airbus A350-900 has become a favourite for travellers, due to its higher ceilings, larger windows and design features which reduce jet lag.

Earlier this week, Cathay Pacific introduced the -1000 version of the A350 onto its Auckland to Hong Kong services.

Passengers flying on the new Singapore Airlines aircraft will experience a new range of modern features, including an app that allows you to preselect what entertainment you'd like to watch on the flight, before you've even got to the airport.

The route using the new aircraft has a scheduled departure time from Wellington of 2:30pm, arriving in Singapore at 10:30pm local time.