Scoot to fly to Sapporo from Oct 1
BUDGET carrier Scoot begins flying from Singapore to Sapporo, via Taipei, three times a week from Saturday.
The flight to New Chitose Airport in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, will take around nine hours and the price of a return ticket starts from $438, without taxes.
Each flight has a capacity of 335 passengers and 10 tonnes of cargo.
At a media conference yesterday, Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo said the new route allows Singapore companies to partner with Japanese firms to export Hokkaido produce - including crabs, oysters and scallops - to customers "faster and cheaper".
This is important, she said, as Hokkaido is the top agricultural production region in Japan. The Japanese government has targeted an increase in agricultural exports abroad to one trillion yen (S$13.5 billion) by 2020, up from 745 billion yen today.
Mrs Teo also called for the "strongest support" to expand a bilateral air services agreement between Singapore and Japan.
"This will bring about even more passenger services, promote more flows of people, trade and investment, between and beyond both countries," she said at the press conference jointly held by the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) and the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.
Mrs Teo also expects the new Scoot route to make it easier for Singapore tourists to visit Hokkaido.
Last year, about 300,000 Singapore tourists visited Japan, and about one in six of them went to Hokkaido.
Sapporo is Scoot's third destination in Japan, after Osaka and Tokyo, bringing the carrier's total number of flights to Japan each week to 23.