Singapore, Hong Kong air travel bubble 'important step' for ongoing recovery of airline industry: SIA
SINGAPORE: The air travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong is an important step towards the recovery of the airline industry as it rebuilds from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, said national carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) on Wednesday (Nov 11).
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) earlier on Wednesday announced that the air travel bubble between both cities will start on Nov 22.
"This air travel bubble arrangement is an important step for both Singapore and Hong Kong as we rebuild from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and supports the ongoing recovery of the airline industry," said SIA in a statement to the media.
"It paves the way for us to open up in a safe and calibrated way with the necessary testing protocols in place, and provides a promising model for other bilateral arrangements around the world."
The first flight under the air travel bubble will depart from Singapore on Nov 22 and the first flight from Hong Kong will depart on Nov 23.
From Nov 25 to Dec 4, the flight schedules will be as follows:
From Dec 7, SIA will operate daily return flights between Singapore and Hong Kong under the air travel bubble arrangement.
SCOOT TO OPERATE NON-AIR TRAVEL BUBBLE FLIGHTS
SIA said it will operate the air travel bubble flights to Hong Kong while low-cost carrier Scoot will operate the non-air travel bubble flights between the cities.
Customers with existing bookings but who do not meet the air travel bubble requirements, or are travellers transiting through Singapore or Hong Kong will have the option to be re-accommodated on Scoot instead, said SIA.
Those travelling on Scoot must meet the entry requirements for Singapore or Hong Kong, and will have to serve either a stay-home notice or quarantine.
READ: COVID-19: Singapore, Hong Kong reach in-principle agreement to establish bilateral air travel bubble
Under the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble arrangement, travellers have to take the dedicated flights, but will have no restrictions on their travel purpose and do not have to follow a controlled itinerary.
They will also not be subject to quarantine or a stay-home notice.
However, they must test negative on COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests within 72 hours before their scheduled departure time.
Those departing from Singapore will be required to apply for approval to take their PCR test at least seven days before departure, and will need a confirmed flight ticket to Hong Kong to do so.
From Dec 1, travellers do not need to apply for approval to take the test.
Upon their arrival, travellers will also have to take a COVID-19 test at the Hong Kong International Airport. They must remain in the airport until they receive their negative test results.