Under the ASPIRE programme, the ‘Capital Express’ flights are expected to save around 1.5 million kg of fuel and 4.6 million kg of carbon emissions over a year (the equivalent of taking approximately 970 cars off the road).


The new ‘Capital Express’ service between Singapore, Canberra and Wellington by Singapore Airlines has been unveiled as the newest addition to the Asia South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE) programme.

The ASPIRE programme is a partnership between six air navigation agencies and 10 partner airlines, focused on reducing the environmental impact of aviation through operational means across Asia and the Pacific. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Singapore Airlines1, Airservices Australia, and Airways New Zealand announced on 13 October that all ‘Capital Express’ flights (SQ291 and SQ292) will be as environmentally friendly as possible through the utilisation of a range of ASPIRE practices, including:

  • making use of favourable winds,
  • reducing airborne holding,
  • enabling efficient ‘continuous descent’ arrivals; and
  • reducing taxi times.

Under the ASPIRE programme, the inaugural ‘Capital Express’ flights on 20 and 21 September saved almost 7,000kg of fuel across the four sectors, which equates to an approximate saving of around 22,000kg of carbon emissions. This was achieved by using 25 of a possible 32 efficient flight operations and air traffic management practices on all four sectors of the flight.

It is expected that over the course of a year the flights will save around 1.5 million kg of fuel and 4.6 million kg of carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 970 cars off the road.

“CAAS has been an active participant of the ASPIRE programme since 2010. We are delighted that the programme continues to grow and make impactful progress,” said Director-General of CAAS, Mr Kevin Shum. “CAAS and our ASPIRE partners are committed to achieve sustainable aviation growth in the Asia Pacific region. By working closely together and adopting best practices in air navigation, we can enhance air transport operations and reduce aviation emissions.”

Singapore Airlines Ag Senior Vice President Flight Operations, Captain CE Quay, said the addition of the new ‘Capital Express’ service to the ASPIRE programme was an excellent example of Singapore Airlines’ commitment to protecting the environment.

“We believe we have a long-term responsibility to help protect the environment, which is why we have programmes in place to ensure that sustainable practices are implemented across the Company,” Captain Quay said. In 2010, Singapore Airlines was the first to fly a multi-sector demonstration green flight when SQ11 flew from Singapore to Los Angeles, via Tokyo saving 10,686 kg of fuel as well as 33,769 kg of carbon emissions.

Since its establishment in 2008, ASPIRE partner airlines and air navigation agencies have implemented 30 new ASPIRE Daily city pairs across the Asia Pacific region, helping the airline industry save millions of dollars in fuel and thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide.