SIA: the airline is adding back flights, but travel bubbles stall

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) expects its gradual increase in capacity will continue this year, although it still has a long road to anything like a recovery. Recent COVID-19 outbreaks in many Asia-Pacific countries – including Singapore – mean that travel bubbles no longer present the opportunity for short term acceleration.

As has been discussed many times, airlines like SIA and Cathay Pacific are in a particularly vulnerable situation during the pandemic, due to their complete reliance on international services.

As two-way travel bubbles are put on hold, SIA is having to pin its hopes for a more meaningful international revival on vaccination programmes in its key markets. But many questions are still to be answered regarding cross-border harmonisation and acceptance of vaccination protocols.

In the meantime, SIA is resuming services where it can. It is also further tweaking its fleet plans as it becomes more apparent that an international rebound is still on the distant horizon.

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