Asia

Passengers disappointed, frustrated over deferment of Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble

SINGAPORE – Travellers who were scheduled to take the inaugural flight between Singapore and Hong Kong under the air travel bubble arrangement on Sunday were disappointed after the bubble was postponed on Saturday (Nov 21).

The travel bubble was slated to start on Sunday, with one flight departing each city per day, with a maximum capacity of 200 people per flight.

Among the travellers who was Mr Aaron Wong, 32, who founded frequent flier website Milelion. He said he was going to check out the travel bubble arrangements, spend three nights in Hong Kong and review the experience. He booked three separate hotels for the purpose.

Mr Wong, whose last trip was to Kuala Lumpur at the end of February, said: “I’m someone who really loves flying, I (tried the Singapore Airlines dining experiences and tour), but of course nothing beats the real thing and the travel bubble was supposed to be that.”

Fellow traveller Mr Hendric Tay, founder of travel blog The Travel Intern, was also due to fly to Hong Kong on Sunday.

His 24-day trip was meant to be an experience for the travel bubble and to find out more about the ground situation in the city for his blog. He was also due to meet friends based in the territory.

The 33-year-old said: “I’m pretty disappointed, especially so because in the last couple of days I had the feeling it might be cancelled, then this morning (the news broke) that it was not going to be cancelled.

“But around 5pm they announced that it was going to be (postponed), so it was like a rollercoaster of emotions.

Mr Tay’s colleagues were supposed to join him in Hong Kong for a week in December to write about the travel experience and situation in Hong Kong.

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But he said that how they proceed with those plans will depend on when the travel bubble launches, in case the Covid-19 situation in Hong Kong escalates further.

Mr Alvin Liu, 41, who is based in Hong Kong but came back to Singapore in late September after his mother was hospitalised, was due to return to the territory, where his family resides, on Nov 30.

That will now have to wait for another two weeks.

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Mr Liu, who works in a bank, believes it may tough to secure a seat by then.

This is because many travellers who like him have had their plans deferred, would also be scrambling to secure a flight.

Additional reporting by Claire Huang

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