Government AffairsScrapped hotel quarantine from November prompt early restart of Qantas and Singapore Airlines flights.

It’s on again: Singapore-Australia travel bubble ‘in a week or two’

Singapore Airlines began flights to Melbourne on 22 October, while Qantas is planning a new route to Delhi.
Singapore Airlines began flights to Melbourne on 22 October, while Qantas is planning a new route to Delhi.

Australia has flagged that a travel bubble with Singapore could be sealed “in the next week or two”.

Australian states New South Wales and Victoria have already scrapped their mandatory hotel quarantine from 1 November after meeting vaccination targets.

Singapore reopened its borders slightly earlier, welcoming the first travellers from Amsterdam and London under vaccinated travel lanes on Wednesday, 21 October.

Speaking alongside Qantas boss Alan Joyce at a ceremony to mark an announcement that the national carrier will restart flights to many international destinations, prime minister Scott Morrison said Australia is in the final stages of negotiation with Singaporean authorities.

Initially, the ‘bubble’ will be focused on allowing vaccinated students and business visitors to travel freely between the two countries.

Joyce said, “Australians rolling up their sleeves means our planes and our people are getting back to work much earlier than we expected.”

In a Facebook post, Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong welcomed the progress on establishing the travel bubble with Australia which has been discussed by authorities in both countries since June.

On the same day, Singapore Airlines launched tickets on its 14-weekly flights between Singapore and Melbourne for eligible customers from 22 October 2021, 8pm (AEDT).

As for Qantas, the carrier is set to launch a new route from Sydney to Delhi on 6 December while bringing forward plans for flights to Singapore, Fiji, Johannesburg, Bangkok and Phuket.

The national carrier will also bring back two of its Airbus A380 aircraft earlier than planned and is in discussions with Boeing about accelerating the delivery of three new 787 Dreamliners, which have been in storage for most of the pandemic.

All Australian-based Qantas and Jetstar employees will be able to return to work on 2 December.

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