Ready, Bubble, Fly – Why are Hong Kong and Singapore Bubbling up?

by Claudia Mok

As recently mentioned by Travel Radar both Hong Kong and Singapore have relaunched their travel bubble via their respective airlines effective end of May. The question is why?

Are you Ready to Bubble & Fly…?

Starting 26 May, Cathay Pacific, flight number CX759, will carry a travel quota of 200 passengers for the first 2 weeks. All passengers are to follow strict safety measures to ensure that all precautions are taken.

Tickets are selling fast. A one-way ticket to Hong Kong on Singapore Airlines costs up to $1,000 Singapore dollars, that is approximately £538 for June. This is compared to flights costing less than HK$2000 for flights before 26 May.

              Hong Kong's Cityscape

Why Bubble?

Hong Kong and Singapore are close to one another, approximately: 2,581 kilometres. There are several ways to travel to and from both directions, for instance by cargo cruise ships, by taking a train from Hong Kong to Bangkok then another to the Singapore border and then reverse, or by simply flying directly with the duopoly that is Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, one that has been going on for quite some time.

   Double Bubble

The relaunch comes after a significant decline in sales that was generated by travel and tourism. According to Singapore Tourism Board, international visitor arrivals declined by 81.2% to reach only 2.7 million visitors from January to September 2020 – with a major drop of tourism receipts from Mainland China -88% which includes Hong Kong. The country ranking 4th (34%) as Singaporeans’ preferred destination.

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific also reported an annual loss of HK$21.65 billion, that is £2.8 billion pounds in their end of year report, 2020, due largely to the coronavirus restrictions. Indeed the lack of revenue has culminated in staff taking voluntary redundancy. Taken together with the political turmoil that is still at play due in part to China’s National Security Law, there comes a need for Hong Kong to regain stability and make ties amid strife.

Singapore's Marina Bay - a Bubble looking sculpture at the side.

Not only is this Travel Bubble a great novelty for passengers amid COVID-19 but a bubble that also secures political and financial ties for both Singapore and China.

What do you think of these travel bubbles that are starting to happen around the world? Let us know in the comments below.  

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