Hong Kong and Singapore will review their travel bubble arrangement in early July 2021, hinting that the long-awaited travel corridor between Asia’s two business and financial hubs may finally see the daylight.
On June 10, 2021, the Singapore Ministry of Transport (MOT) stated that the transport minister S. Iswaran and Hong Kong secretary for commerce and economic development Edward Yau have “maintained close contact and agreed that both sides would review the situation in early July, before making a decision on the target launch dates of the ATB flights”.
Earlier in May 2021,the launch of the Hong Kong-Singapore air travel bridge, originally planned for May 26, 2021, was deferred by mutual agreement between two cities due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in Singapore. This was the second attempt to launch the bubble, after the initial attempt on November 22, 2020, which did not come to fruition.
According to the MOT, since the second postponement of quarantine-free travel, the COVID-19 situation in Singapore has improved, “with the number of community cases and local unlinked COVID-19 cases showing a downward trend”.
Such delays of the quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Hong Kong have shattered hopes to boost travel and ticket sales for their respective flag carriers, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY), which are already suffering from low passenger traffic numbers in international air travel due to the ongoing crisis.