Ripples widen Canberra’s international profile

John Thistleton 24 January 2019 55
Brindabella Business Park has set the groundwork for two new tenancies. Photos: Canberra Airport

Brindabella Business Park has set the groundwork for two new tenancies. Photos: Canberra Airport.

Rapid growth of international flights into and from Canberra Airport have triggered a fresh tilt at direct flights to Auckland and the Americas.

Singapore Airlines stopped its Canberra to Wellington service 12 months ago, but the trans-Tasman opportunity continues to drive the airport’s aspirations.

Managing director Stephen Byron says the key focus in 2019 is achieving a service across the Tasman, particularly to Auckland.

“We would love to see Qantas take that up as Australia’s national carrier to connect our national capital to our nearest and dearest friend, the New Zealanders,” Mr Byron says.

“That is not to just connect us with the country of New Zealand and our Anzac friends but it would provide, through Auckland, a bridge to the Americas – both North and South America because there is significant connectivity to the major American cities out of Auckland,” he says.

Canberra Airport has capacity to spare for another carrier to begin direct flights to Auckland.

Canberra Airport has capacity to spare for another carrier to begin direct flights to Auckland.

In the early stages of introducing Canberra as a tourism destination to the world, Mr Byron says international flights’ ripple effect of people across Asia and Europe is only just starting.

Singapore’s daily flights and connections to 115 destinations and Qatar Airways services, particularly with European destinations, will continue bringing international visitors into the city.

More investment in the airport’s Pak Fresh facility will see it fully equipped for handling freight, particularly cold food, chilled seafood and the like. “That will dovetail well, particularly for the Singapore flight that flies out of here each night around 11 o’clock,” Mr Byron says.

Meanwhile, Brindabella Business Park has two new commercial office spaces on the drawing board, one with planning approval, one in the draft stages and on public exhibition.

With a workforce of 8000 people, business park tenancies are growing in the Defence, IT and cyber security sectors. One of the new buildings at 9 Molonglo Drive will be up to six storeys, with 20,000 square metres of net lettable space. Basement car parking will be built separately in order to cater for car parking demand in the precinct, regardless of tenancy timing.

“Part of the way in which the commercial market is here in Canberra is very much around a pre-commitment, so particularly the 9 Molonglo Drive project would really only be triggered by a tenant lining up to lease that building,” Mr Byron says. “That could happen during 2019, but I would probably forecast it to happen in 2020. The 9 Molonglo Drive building is very much a government building, a pre-commitment building.”

The other project, 6 Brindabella Circuit, comprising two buildings and worth $65 million, could suit a government tenant or private sector tenant.

This project could potentially start near the end of 2019 if it were approved.

“Brindabella Business Park is fully occupied. If the building is approved, we may decide to begin construction of it in light of discussion, particularly with existing tenants in the business park that are growing,” Mr Byron says. “We are seeing there is significant growth in tenants in the Defence, IT and cyber security space,” he says.

Last year the airport completed and opened the Australian Cyber Security Centre and headquarters for the Australian Border Force which is now being progressively occupied.

“Those agencies also engage significantly with the private sector,” Mr Byron says.

“It is interesting to see businesses expand and grow and win work and see them working with one another to win government contracts,” he says.

The business park is now best characterised as a knowledge working community and professional services space.

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55 Responses to Ripples widen Canberra’s international profile
Deb Meuronen Deb Meuronen 1:17 pm 26 Jan 19

Auckland would be great. Loved the Singapore Airlines flight to Wellington when it operated.

Angela Heazlewood Angela Heazlewood 1:15 pm 26 Jan 19

Direct to Auckland

& North America would be great!!

Nikks Brown Nikks Brown 12:56 pm 26 Jan 19

Hong Kong 🇭🇰 please 🙏🏼

    Nikks Brown Nikks Brown 12:56 pm 26 Jan 19

    Saves me connecting thru Sydney or Melbourne for my 3-4 trips home annually

Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 12:39 pm 26 Jan 19

The Qatar Service is great, so too is Air NZ.

Having international flights out of Canberra has been really useful, saves the drive up to Sydney for a lot of people.

Thanks Canberra Airport.

    Mick Johnson Mick Johnson 8:59 pm 26 Jan 19

    not enough people

    Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 9:02 pm 26 Jan 19

    Mick Johnson Qatar flights go via Sydney (full compliment of passengers), AirNZ fly direct to Singapore (full compliment of passengers). I used to think the same thing, but I was proved wrong...

    Chris Coleman Chris Coleman 6:32 am 27 Jan 19

    Annie Wyer The Qatar leg from CBR-SYD was recently listed as the emptiest daily flight leg in Australia. From memory it’s regularly only 25% full, and then fills up in Sydney.

    The direct flights to Singapore are not operated by Air NZ. They’re Singapore Airlines flights.

    Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 7:22 am 27 Jan 19

    Chris Coleman the Qatar flight from Canberra to Sydney that I was on had about 50 ppl on board, it picked up a whole lot of passengers in Sydney.

    You’re right about Singapore Airlines (that was my mistake), it was already half full when we joined it.

    Qatar airlines provided the best service, and I’ve used a fair few airlines in my time.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 7:05 pm 27 Jan 19

    Mick Johnson number of people on the Qatar flight between Canberra and Sydney doesn’t matter.

    The only reason they fly it is they couldn’t get an extra flight into Sydney without flying to a secondary airport like Canberra (or Adelaide, Darwin).

    So long as good loads Sydney to Doha Qatar doesn’t care.

Peter Thornton Peter Thornton 12:20 pm 26 Jan 19

The Federal Government should have made CBR Airport Sydney's second AP and then poured the $B that would have been spent into constructing a very fast train between the two cities. No vision!

Paul Evans Paul Evans 12:06 pm 26 Jan 19

Japan please, hate having to fly to another city to go to Japan.

Carman Tsang Carman Tsang 11:52 am 26 Jan 19

Hong Kong!

Linda Gillespie Linda Gillespie 11:50 am 26 Jan 19

Keep them coming ! The more the better!

Alison Brittliff Alison Brittliff 11:48 am 26 Jan 19

Bali or Bangkok

Victoria Edmonds Victoria Edmonds 11:42 am 26 Jan 19

Direct flights to Auckland, Bangkok and Hong Kong would be great! And direct domestic flights to Hobart please!

Paul Irving Paul Irving 11:30 am 26 Jan 19

Decent domestic services would be better. Wellington also great.

Callie Elward-Barrett Callie Elward-Barrett 11:30 am 26 Jan 19

It would be nice to have direct to UK outside of the Singapore Air monopoly, might mean it costs less than a small car to go direct

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 7:09 pm 27 Jan 19

    Callie Elward-Barrett Qantas CBR-PER-LHR has the same number of stops as Singapore airlines CBR-SIN-LHR.

    And the return has one less stop as Singapore airlines is LHR-SIN-SYD-CBR.

    Callie Elward-Barrett Callie Elward-Barrett 7:19 pm 27 Jan 19

    Ashley Wright thanks for the heads up 😊

    We ended up going with Qatar, also having the same number of stops

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 8:21 pm 27 Jan 19

    Callie Elward-Barrett Going Qatar you have one more stop out bound and the same inbound compared to Singapore airlines. As their Canberra flight comes through Sydney like Singapore’s does and goes back via Sydney unlike Singapore Airlines who are direct.

    Callie Elward-Barrett Callie Elward-Barrett 8:49 pm 27 Jan 19

    i kind of wish I’d spoken to you first Ashley!

Catherine Seetoh Catherine Seetoh 11:25 am 26 Jan 19

Hong Kong 😊

Sue Jameson Sue Jameson 11:22 am 26 Jan 19


Lynne Audsley Lynne Audsley 10:59 am 26 Jan 19

New Zealand again would be fantastic.

Andrew Faella Andrew Faella 10:49 am 26 Jan 19

Lower your fees to fly in and out of canberra for the airlines, this will attract the likes of Jetstar to the Canberra market which then will drive down airfares

    Graham Wilson Graham Wilson 11:03 am 26 Jan 19

    Andrew Faella Canberra already has a budget airline fly in/out with Tiger. I’d say Qantas wouldn’t want to be paying anymore to CBR than they already do, and as the parent company of Jetstar, why would Qantas/Jetstar “double-up” it’s costs at Canberra.

    Louis Sotiropoulos Louis Sotiropoulos 11:27 am 26 Jan 19

    Graham Wilson The same way they double up at other airports??

    Kytie Mclign Kytie Mclign 11:29 am 26 Jan 19

    Andrew Faella Jetstar isn't in Canberra because it would undercut its cousin, QANTAS, in a location for which people have been willing to pay for full-service airfares.

Sean Cryer Sean Cryer 10:36 am 26 Jan 19

We can’t even get a decent domestic service in and out of Canberra.

Jen Dee Jen Dee 10:35 am 26 Jan 19

Yes, yes please

Andrea Kerr Andrea Kerr 10:31 am 26 Jan 19

Yes please

Tracey Crump Tracey Crump 10:20 am 26 Jan 19

The Wellington direct service was fantastic!

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