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Flights to Singapore take off

There will be no restrictions on flights between the UK and Singapore after an historic agreement between the countries.

The agreement gives access to the UK and Singapore for airlines of both countries, including onward flights to destinations in other countries. This is the first time a non-EU or US airline will be given access to the London to USA market.

UK Secretary of State for Transport, Ruth Kelly, says: "I am delighted to sign this landmark deal, which will be good for passengers and for the aviation industry, both in the UK and Singapore. As the most liberal agreement of its kind to date, I hope it will set the standard for other comparable agreements in the future".

The agreement is set to come into force from 30 March next year, and is likely to win widespread approval from the aviation industry.

In a statement to the media, Singapore Airlines has welcomed the agreement, stating: "This is one of the most progressive air services agreements struck across the world in years. It will be closely watched by many other countries, and should serve as a template for badly-needed structural reform of the archaic air services agreement system".

Singapore Airlines will fly the A380 superjumbo from Heathrow to Singapore from next March. The airline completed the first commercial flight of the new A380 between Singapore and Sydney in October. The double decker A380 operated by Singapore Airlines has 471 seats, including luxury seats that the airline describes as 'beyond first class'.

Written by: Nick Purdom