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Miss Victoria Peak? HK return fare prices taking flight

Work-in-progress air travel bubble yet to be launched, but ticket prices already increasing by up to 40%

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SIA and its regional wing SilkAir have scheduled 10 flights a week to Hong Kong for November and December 2020.

Singapore

ROUND-TRIP airfares to Hong Kong have risen by up to 40 per cent, following news that Singapore and Hong Kong are working to reopen borders to each other without quarantine upon arrival.

And air ticket prices seem to be only going one way - up, as seen in the hikes after news broke on Oct 15 of an air travel bubble between the two cities.

A check by The Business Times on Oct 16 of the flights on Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Cathay Pacific showed that prices for an economy class round-trip ticket departing from Singapore on Dec 5 were about S$558 and S$490 respectively.

But a recent search for the same flight in December on these carriers showed it now costs about up to 40 per cent more: S$679 on SIA; and S$682 on Cathay Pacific.

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Also, airfares are lower in November than December, going by the prices on the websites of SIA and Cathay Pacific. The Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble is to be launched in November, but the date has not been revealed.

An SIA spokesperson said prices are a function of demand and supply.

The Singapore flag carrier and Cathay Pacific would not confirm if bookings have risen, but Scoot told BT that it has seen an increase in flight reservations between Singapore and Hong Kong since the air travel bubble was announced.

The SIA budget carrier, however, did not quantify the increase, citing commercial sensitivity.

Scoot had, a fortnight ago, offered round-trip tickets to Hong Kong on Dec 5 at S$415 including baggage, but the Saturday flight has since been suspended from sale as the airline is "currently reviewing its December flight schedule".

Non-Saturday flights in December are still available on the Scoot website, as these are a continuation of its November flights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, said the Scoot spokesperson. "However, in view of the fluid situation, these flight schedules may be subject to change."

The fare for these flights is now higher by S$60 - in a matter of days. For example, it was S$475 based on a search on Oct 30, but just S$415 on Oct 28.

The spokesman said: "Airfares are primarily determined by route supply and demand, and so are dynamic and subject to change."

Both SIA and Scoot are monitoring the demand and are prepared to match that with capacity, the airlines said.

SIA and its regional wing SilkAir have scheduled 10 flights a week to Hong Kong for November and December 2020, while Scoot currently operates three flights a week between Singapore and Hong Kong.

SIA, Scoot and Cathay Pacific are the only ones flying between Singapore and Hong Kong in November and December, a Changi Airport Group (CAG) spokesperson told BT.

The airport operator was unable to state the total number of flights between the two cities during this period as it is subject to change by the airlines.

But the addition of flights is subject to several factors, such as approval from respective governments, and slot availability at the airports in the origin and destination cities, said the CAG spokesperson.

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