Singapore’s air travel is rebounding despite China’s border restrictions, transport minister says


Air travel in Singapore is recovering and has reached around 40% of pre-Covid levels despite China’s border restrictions, Transport Minister S. Iswaran said.

China’s passenger traffic is significant for Singapore, he said. Some 3.6 million Chinese residents traveled to Singapore in 2019, accounting for 13% of total visitors, according to data from the local tourism board.

China remained among the top sources of visitors to Singapore during the pandemic, but that may be changing as other countries relax border measures. In April, Singapore received just 5,000 visitors from China, less than 2% of total arrivals, data showed.

Travelers to China still need to take multiple Covid tests and quarantine upon arrival in the country.

Still, there are opportunities for growth in travel, Iswaran told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick and Geoff Cutmore on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum.

“We’ve seen a significant rebound in air travel coming through Singapore, in the space of less than two months from mid March to mid May,” said Iswaran.

“Our volumes have more than doubled to around 40 odd percent of pre-Covid, and we expect that momentum to continue,” he added.

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