Bubble talk stirs air ticket price rise

Friday, October 16, 2020

The cost of air tickets between two regional aviation hubs is starting to rise less than 24 hours after Singapore and Hong Kong unveiled an agreement in-principle for a 'travel bubble' that would not require quarantine, but mandates mutually-recognized PCR tests for the coronavirus.

The cheapest price for a return economy seat on Singapore Airlines to Hong Kong was S$558 (US$410) in the morning, up until the end of December, versus around S$400 on Thursday afternoon as the news was being announced, the airline’s website shows, Bloomberg reports.. Return business-class fares increased by about HK$5,000 ($645) to HK$19,000.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the flag carriers of Singapore and Hong Kong especially hard because they don’t have any domestic market to fall back on. Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, around 1 million trips were made between the two regional centers every year, data from the Singapore and Hong Kong tourism boards show.

Cathay Pacific Airways shares closed up 6.1 percent on Thursday and gained by 6.4 percent today as investors digested the news. Singapore Airlines added 0.9 percent.