SIA flies high on air travel bubble resumption

The airline saw shares rally over 4% after Singapore and Hong Kong restored a stalled bilateral air travel bubble agreement.

  • Singapore Airlines Ltd (SGX: C6l) share price rallies 4% to two-week high
  • This comes after Singapore and Hong Kong announced the restarting of an air travel bubble (ATB) from 26 May 2021
  • SIA indicated it will operate a return ATB flight between three and four times a week for the first two weeks of the ATB
  • It will then increase the frequency to daily from 09 June
  • Buy and sell SIA stocks with an IG account

SIA share price: what’s the latest?

Singapore Airlines (SIA) shares rallied 4% to S$5.36 on Tuesday (27 April 2021) morning, a day after Singapore and Hong Kong agreed to launch a bilateral air travel bubble (ATB) arrangement from 26 May 2021.

As at 15:30 SGT, 11.5 million securities have exchanged hands on the counter.

‘The COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong has improved, with very few local unlinked COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. Community cases in Singapore remained very low throughout the time,’ said Singapore's Ministry of Transport (MOT).

‘The risk profiles of both cities are therefore now similar.’

Both parties will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation from now till 26 May 2021, and will proceed with the launch ‘if the situation continues to be steady and remain under control in both cities,’ it added in a press release.

In response, SIA said that the move will help to instil consumer confidence in international air travel resumption, besides being an ‘important milestone’ in its own recovery.

‘Singapore Airlines strongly supports all efforts to open the Singapore air hub up in a safe and calibrated manner. We will continue to be nimble and flexible in adjusting our capacity to meet the demand for air travel,’ the company stated.

Read more: Why SIA shares were downgraded to 'sell' by UOB, Nomura analysts

Three weeks ago, SIA passenger flights to Hong Kong were suspended, after a transit passenger on SQ882, flying from Singapore to Hong Kong on 31 March, was found to have contracted Covid-19 prior to landing.

The suspension had caused many to worry about the planned travel bubble between both cities, but those fears were quickly allayed by Singapore Transport Minister Mr Ong Ye Kung.

How will the air travel bubble be implemented?

The inaugural SIA ATB flight from Singapore, SQ882, will depart on 26 May while the inaugural SIA ATB flight from Hong Kong, SQ883, will depart on 28 May, the airline added.

The airline indicated that it will operate an ATB flight in and out of Hong Kong from Singapore between three and four times a week.

Then, starting from 09 June, the carrier will operate ATB flights every day.

However, travellers transiting through Singapore or Hong Kong, as well as those who do not meet the ATB requirements, are not allowed on ATB flights.

Meanwhile, low-cost airline Scoot will operate daily non-travel bubble flights as well from this date. SIA said passengers who are not eligible to travel on ATB flights ‘may wish to consider’ this alternative option.

According to MOT, the ATB will be launched under more stringent arrangements to better safeguard public health and provide greater stability.

Travellers must have remained in either Singapore or Hong Kong in the last 14 days prior to departure, and the 14 days period must exclude any time spent in quarantine or Stay-Home Notice arising from their last return to Singapore or Hong Kong from overseas.

In addition, travellers must now download and install Hong Kong’s LeaveHomeSafe app on their mobile devices prior to leaving Singapore for Hong Kong.

If the ATB has to be suspended when the seven-day moving average of the unlinked community cases in either Singapore or Hong Kong increases to above 5, it can only resume when the situation has stabilised.

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