Singapore – Australia Tourist Travel Resumes In November

A two-way quarantine-free travel corridor between Singapore and Australia will commence this month, allowing tourist travel to and from both countries. The confirmation follows a meeting between Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Australia’s Scott Morrison at the G20 meeting in Rome.

The long-awaited two-way travel corridor between Singapore and Australia commences this month. Photo: Singapore Airlines

Singapore opens first, Australia two weeks later

Fully vaccinated Australians will be able to hotfoot it to Singapore from November 8. Fully vaccinated Singaporeans can swing down to Australia from November 21. Both countries have pre-departure and post-arrival COVID-19 testing regimes in place. In the case of Australia, only New South Wales and Victoria have dropped quarantine requirements to date.

“We welcome the Prime Minister of Australia’s announcement that Singapore citizens will be able to enjoy quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Australia from 21 November,” said Singapore Airlines Regional Vice President Louis Arul on Monday.

“Our commitment to Australia has remained steadfast throughout the pandemic, and our schedules will continue to support the growth in demand that will come from these announcements.”

In 2019, the last year of clear flying for airlines, two-way nonstop traffic on the hotly contested corridor between Singapore and Australia totaled 6,371,894 passengers. In the same year, airlines put on 24,714 flights between the two countries.

While Qantas is resuming flights between Australia and Singapore later this month, only Singapore Airlines has maintained services and operated almost 3,800 passenger flights to five cities in Australia since April 2020.

The airline says it has flown 66,700 passengers to Australia in the same period. The vast majority were Australians returning home.

Singapore Airlines has maintained flights to Australia throughout the pandemic. Photo: Andrew Curran/Simple Flying

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Two firsts for Singapore Airlines in Sydney on Monday

On Monday, Singapore Airlines also operated the first passenger flight into Sydney since April 2020 that wasn’t subject to capacity limitations. SQ221 touched down in Sydney on Monday morning with a planeload of fully vaccinated Australians who could skip 14 days in hotel quarantine – signaling an end to the loathed quarantine regime.

That aircraft (9V-SHV) then became the first plane on Monday morning to leave Sydney with passengers onboard who did not have to apply for permission to leave the country.

“It has been wonderful to see families reunited and loved ones embracing at the airport, a sign of hope for all,” Mr Arul said.

“The reopening of Australia’s borders for fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible non-citizens is a welcome first step on Australia’s road to recovery and re-establishing connections with the world.”

Singapore Airlines has two return flights each to Sydney and Melbourne on Monday. Loads are light on Monday, with around 300 passengers across the flights. But Mr Arul says his airline expects to fly about 2,500 passengers this week in and out of Australia.

“With 31 weekly flights between Sydney and Melbourne to Singapore, as well as the ability to be nimble in deploying capacity should demand warrant, we will continue to provide a range of travel options for customers to and from Australia.”

Singapore Airlines expects to fly 2,500 passengers in and out of Australia this week. Photo: Singapore Airlines

Travel restrictions easing in Sydney

The airline recently announced their A380s would resume flights to Sydney next month, operating one of the two daily returns from December 1.

“Every daily A380 service brings with it $200 million in annual economic activity and 2,100 jobs, and we are looking forward to welcoming plenty of them soon,” said Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert on Monday.

“We still have a long way to go in terms of the recovery of our sector, but allowing fully vaccinated Australians to travel without quarantine will provide the template for bringing back students, business travelers, and tourists from all over the world.”

Meanwhile, Monday sees a range of relaxed travel restrictions introduced in the New South Wales capital of Sydney. Fully vaccinated domestic travelers can recommence flying in from Melbourne, opening the way to revive one of the world’s busiest air routes. Melbourne is also returning the favor.

Sydney and Melbourne are also dusting off the welcome mat for New Zealanders. Fully vaccinated travelers from New Zealand can re-enter Australia via either city from Monday and skip the quarantine requirement.

Eleven airlines who have suspended flights to Sydney have recently announced they’ll be recommencing services between November 2021 and January 2022.

Further announcements regarding travel to and from Australia are expected in a matter of days, including a resumption of regular tourist travel between Australia and Indonesia.