Singapore Airlines said in a statement that the launch of the travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong has been deferred indefinitely, with a new start date to be advised by both governments.
Singapore Minister for Transport, S Iswaran, met recently with Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, Edward Yau, on the Singapore – Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB). Given the evolving COVID-19 situation in Singapore, Mr. Iswaran and Mr. Yau agreed that the ATB flights originally planned for 26 May will be deferred it said in a statement.
All Singapore Airlines flights between Singapore and Hong Kong from 26 May 2021 will now operate as non-travel bubble flights. Customers need to ensure that they meet the respective entry requirements and adhere to quarantine measures upon arrival.
The quarantine-free air travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore was launched on the 25th of April 2021 to get off the ground on May 26. Initially, the plans were shelved already last November at the first attempt. It is once more a step back in the important milestone for the recovery of the airlines in the region from the pandemic.
Travel bubbles, also known as travel corridors and corona corridors, are a partnership between two or more countries that have demonstrated considerable success in containing and combating the COVID-19 pandemic within their respective borders.
These countries then go on to re-establish connections between them by opening up borders and allowing people to travel freely within the zone without having the need to undergo on-arrival quarantine.
Tourism makes for a considerable percentage of any country’s yearly GDP, thus, governments worldwide are struggling to find ways to try and restore the inbound cash flow streams associated with international tourism and travel.
Most countries generally view the travel bubble concept as something that would allow business recoveries much faster. It looks clear it is not going to happen any time very soon.