Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble could begin in November

first_imgHong Kong Financial Secretary At the same time, we’re working very hard with the mainland authorities to try to revive the traveling between Hong Kong and mainland because, business wise, this is very important to speed up the recovery of our econom.Paul Chan- Advertisement – SINGAPORE — The travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore could take effect within this month —and discussions are ongoing with other countries including Thailand and Japan, according to Hong Kong’s financial secretary Paul Chan.“We’re working hard with the Singaporean government,” said Chan. “The target is to launch this as soon as possible within November, and the earlier, the better.”The two cities in mid-October announced plans to allow leisure travel to resume without the need for quarantines. Instead, tourists would take a coronavirus test before departure. Hong Kong may also require a second test after arrival.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Tourism and aviation have been hit hard by the pandemic this year. Singapore and Hong Kong also do not have domestic air travel markets to cushion the blow. A passenger wearing a facemask exiting the arrival hall at the Hong Kong International Airport terminal.Miguel Candela | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images Singapore has unilaterally opened its borders to tourists from countries where the coronavirus situation is under control such as New Zealand and Brunei.Chan said Hong Kong is in talks with 10 other countries about allowing similar travel bubbles.“For example, Thailand, Japan — these are the countries that we have more advanced discussions with,” he said, adding that the authorities are working “very hard” to expand the network of air travel bubbles with different jurisdictions.“At the same time, we’re working very hard with the mainland authorities to try to revive the traveling between Hong Kong and mainland because, business wise, this is very important to speed up the recovery of our economy,” Chan said.The city fell into recession last year after months of anti-government protests, and the Covid-19 outbreak dealt the economy another blow.Still, when asked if Hong Kong might lose some of its shine to Shenzhen, the secretary said the financial hub has a “very unique competitive edge.” Shenzhen celebrated 40 years as a special economic zone last month, and was given flexibility to pursue reforms in some areas, according to Reuters.Chan said there’s a “complementary cooperation” between Hong Kong and other Chinese cities.“There are areas that we are highly competitive and leading the way, but there are also other areas we can work with the neighboring cities to achieve the maximum synergistic effect, for example, innovation and technology,” he said.“The way we see it is, in this process, we need to work together to leverage the best outcome for everyone concerned,” he continued. “But on the other hand, in … sectors that we are doing well, we need to keep enhancing ourselves, making ourselves even more competitive and ahead of our competition.” – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Higher regulated airfares could help airlines survive pandemic: INACA

first_imgDomestic airlines welcome the government’s plan to increase both ceiling and floor airfares since the policy could reduce airlines’ burden amid the pandemic that has left travel-related industries devastated, an industry group says.The Indonesia National Air Carrier Association (INACA) said higher ceiling prices could help airlines cope with a new regulation that caps passenger capacity at 50 percent per flight in support of the universal public health advice of physical distancing. The rule was stipulated in Transportation Ministerial Regulation No. 18/2020.“It is inevitable that with the decreasing seating capacity, the seat load factor [on airplanes] will be decreased too, and it will increase the cost per seat per aircraft,” said Denon on April 16. “To reduce our burden, the INACA positively responds to the Transportation Ministry plan to increase the ceiling and floor prices of airline tickets.” Civil aviation director general Novie Riyanto said the ministry was currently finalizing the ceiling and floor prices for airfares, which would consider stipulations in the new ministerial regulation on transportation controls to slow the spread of COVID-19.“The new ceiling and floor prices, however, will be temporarily imposed during the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB),” said Novie as quoted by Kontan on April 16.“The increase in ceiling and floor prices is implemented as a compensation for the airlines who have to bear losses because they are only allowed to fill a maximum of 50 percent of their total seat capacity for passengers.”The air travel industry is one of the hardest-hit sectors by COVID-19, which has led to a sharp drop in air travel demand globally. Finance Ministry data as of April 17 estimated that the national airlines’ revenue loss had reached Rp 207 billion as a result of the pandemic.Topics :last_img read more

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