Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble key for Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific turnaround, says GlobalData

Following the news that Singapore and Hong Kong are in talks over the postponed travel bubble;

Animesh Kumar, Director of Travel & Tourism Consulting at GlobalData, a leading research and consulting company, offers his view:

“While the flight and travel restrictions have impacted airlines across the globe, the bearing has been extremely severe on Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. Due to international travel restrictions, several airlines have been focusing on domestic businesses. However, the same is not possible for the flag carriers of Singapore and Hong Kong as they do not have domestic air travel markets.

“The travel bubble was originally scheduled for November 2020, but the plan was deferred after the sudden spike in the COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong. Though the authorities have confirmed that the talks for the creation of travel bubble have resumed, it is too early to predict the kick-start time of the travel bubble and its new guidelines.

“It is certain that both Singapore and Hong Kong will put in stringent measures to ensure that the travel bubble is safe as well as sustainable. If the destinations would have gone ahead with the travel bubble in November 2020, it would have been the first quarantine-free travel arrangement in the world since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is likely to be a threshold for daily passenger numbers, mandatory negative test results, more testing during the stay, passenger tracking through Bluetooth and GPS technology and may be even a vaccination requirement. The travel bubble will certainly not result in an immediate meaningful recovery for the tourism industry but it will definitely be a start, which is expected to encourage the stakeholders across the globe.”

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