Both Hong Kong and Singapore will allow passengers to transit again from the beginning of June. This can be seen as the first step to a resumption of international travel again.
The Singaporean Government has confirmed that passenger transit will resume from 2nd June. Singapore serves as a major transit hub for flights between the Asia-Pacific and Europe.
Currently, passengers can only transit through Singapore if they are on repatriation flights organised by their governments.
The Singapore Civil Aviation Authority has said opening the airport to transit passengers will be crucial in the reopening of the city.
“As a precaution, stringent measures will be instituted to ensure that the transit passengers remain in designated facilities in the transit area and do not mix with other passengers whilst at Changi Airport. Airport staff will be required to wear personal protective equipment when interacting with passengers.”Singapore Civil Aviation Authority
Singapore has banned transit passengers since 24th March. In addition, the country’s Prime Minister also enacted a ban on short stay-visitors to combat imported coronavirus cases.
Hong Kong Airport will reopen for international transit from 1st June, according to Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
The airport will gradually reopen to return to full capacity, although no further details were provided. The reopening is part the Hong Kong Government’s plan to reboot the city’s economy.
Prior to the announcement, Air Canada and Qatar Airways planned to resume flights to Hong Kong in June. Reopening will allow for these flights to accept other travellers potentially stranded across Asia.
The Hong Kong Government has reiterated that only residents will be allowed in, and any foreign passengers that do not reside in Hong Kong will be denied entry.
Chinese State Media is reporting that Hong Kong will now serve as a transit destination for “thousands of Chinese residents stranded abroad.” This follows numerous foreign airlines temporarily or permanently axing routes to Mainland China.
Hong Kong is the fourth-largest airport by passenger count, and transit passengers make up a significant percentage in airport traffic. Transit services have been suspended since 25th April.
Hong Kong’s largest airline, Cathay Pacific, carried only 13,729 passengers in April, compared to over 4.3 million in April 2019. This represents a drop of 99.6%.
More details will be revealed in the coming days. This article will be updated.