The relaxation of border restrictions is paving the way for the SIA Group’s post-pandemic recovery.
Now that Singapore is reopening its borders on April 1, with Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) phased out completely, flag carrier Singapore Airlines and its low-cost subsidiary Scoot are opening up their entire combined network to all fully vaccinated travelers. This means that passengers aboard Singapore Airlines and Scoot flights arriving from 97 destinations across 34 countries will enjoy quarantine-free entry into the city-state without the need for any on-arrival test. But they must still take a pre-departure test within two days of flight departure, and meet prevailing visa requirements.
As a result, SIA and Scoot will no longer designate VTL flights from Friday. Customers who already have tickets for a VTL flight on or after April 1 can still travel as planned, and do not need to make any changes to their booking. There’s good news too for transit travelers on SIA flights bound for all destinations except Hong Kong and cities in Mainland China. They will be permitted to pass through Changi Airport regardless of their vaccination status, so long as entry protocols of their final destination are met. Since the middle of February, the requirement to show a negative pre-departure test result has been dropped for those transiting through Singapore. However, ground staff may still ask for a valid negative Covid-19 test certificate if the document is necessary to board the connecting flight.
With quarantine rules being scrapped across an increasing number of countries around the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore Airlines is showing strong signs of recovery. The SIA Group recently posted its first quarterly profit since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, counting a net profit of S$85 million (just over US$62.4 million) in the third quarter of the 2021/22 financial year. This was attributed to a significant growth in passenger numbers on VTL flights that unlocked pent-up demand, especially over the year-end holiday season.