A LANDMARK aviation deal just inked between Singapore and the UK opens up all kinds of possibilities for SIA.
The airline can now fly to any point in the UK, carry domestic passengers, and even base its planes in the country, using UK as a hub to operate to any other country.
'This is indeed a trail-blazing agreement concluded between two forward-looking countries that share a common objective of promoting free competition in the aviation sector,' said Minister for Transport Raymond Lim.
'It also reflects the strong bilateral ties between Singapore and the UK.'
Now Singapore Airlines (SIA) aircraft can also pick up passengers from London's Heathrow Airport and fly them onwards to other cities, including those in the United States.
Similarly, UK carriers will be able to operate any number of services beyond Singapore to any other city in the world.
The landmark deal comes nearly two decades after Singapore first made its first request to the UK. It will take effect from end-March next year.
This ground-breaking agreement is even more liberal than conventional OSAs, as it provides for unlimited 'hubbing' and 'cabotage' rights for carriers of both countries, said the Ministry of Transport on Wednesday.
Singapore carriers will be allowed to base their aircraft in UK and use UK as a hub to operate to any other country without any restriction on destination, frequency of service or capacity.
The same privilege applies to UK carriers. The 'cabotage' rights - which is the exclusive right of a country to operate the air traffic within its territory - allow Singapore carriers to operate like a domestic carrier in the UK and to mount any number of services between UK cities.
The landmark agreement is a first for the UK, and only the second for Singapore, which already has a similar unrestricted OSA with the United Arab Emirates.
With this, Singapore will have OSAs with more than 20 countries, including 10 in the European Union.