On Saturday (Nov. 21) afternoon, the day before the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble (ATB) was scheduled to start, Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung announced that the ATB would be postponed by two weeks due to surge in Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong.
This may be disappointing news for those who purchased tickets and were eagerly looking forward to travelling to Hong Kong after many long months of a pandemic-induced travel drought.
Fortunately, the customers of the two countries' flag carriers can find some relief in the fact that they can rebook or refund their tickets for no additional fee.
SIA supports decision to defer ATB launch
In a statement to Mothership, a Singapore Airlines (SIA) spokesperson said that the airline supports the decision by the Singapore and Hong Kong authorities to defer the launch of the ATB.
"The health and safety of our customers remain our top priority," the statement read.
SIA is contacting the affected customers.
Customers need to ensure that they meet the respective entry requirements and adhere to quarantine measures upon arrival.
Customers who were scheduled for the flights between Nov. 22 and Dec. 6 and no longer wish to travel due to the postponement of the ATB can request for a full refund of the unutilised portions of their ticket, and have the cancellation fees waived.
Cathay Pacific will refund or change travel dates without charge
In a statement to Mothership, Cathay Pacific replied that the inaugural ATB flight CX759 on Nov.22 has been cancelled, adding that "passengers have the option to change or cancel their bookings, free of charge".
Passengers booked on the ATB flights between Nov. 24 and Dec. 5 have been automatically placed onto non-ATB flights departing at the same date and time as their original booking.
Normal quarantine procedures would apply.
Cathay Pacific is also contacting affected passengers via email/SMS notifications.
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Top photos via SIA and Cathay Pacific websites.