The launch of the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble will be deferred for two weeks due to the spike in Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong, said Singapore‚Äôs transport minister Ong Ye Kung this afternoon.
In a Facebook post published an hour ago, Ong explained that although the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore had announced this morning the commencement of the travel bubble as planned on Sunday, further discussions between him and Hong Kong secretary Edward Yau determined that it would be prudent to defer the launch of the arrangement.
‚ÄúWe will review within two weeks on the new launch date and update again,‚ÄĚ said Ong in his post.
‚ÄúI can fully understand the disappointment and frustration of travellers who have planned their trips. But we think it is better to defer from a public health standpoint. The airlines will be contacting the travellers individually.
‚ÄúThis is a sober reminder that the Covid-19 virus is still with us, and even as we fight to regain our normal lives, the journey will be full of ups and downs. But we will press on and look forward to when we can safely launch the ATB,‚ÄĚ he said.
In response to the update, Singapore Airlines has issued a statement, saying that it ‚Äúsupports the decision by the Singapore and Hong Kong authorities to defer the launch of the Air Travel Bubble‚ÄĚ.
The airline spokesperson said: ‚ÄúThe health and safety of our customers remain our top priority. Affected customers are being contacted by Singapore Airlines. Customers who no longer wish to travel due to the deferment of the ATB can request for a full refund of the unutilised portion of their ticket, and have the cancellation fees waived.‚ÄĚ