Cathay Pacific Singapore Airlines Travel Bubbles

Singapore – Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble: Everything you need to know

The Singapore - Hong Kong ATB is finally set to get underway on 26th May.

Here's all you need to know about the process.

Note: The launch date for the ATB has been postponed, with the next update due by early July 2021.

Recently we wrote about the new proposed launch for the long-awaited Singapore – Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB), which suffered a six-month delay on its original planned debut due to a wave of COVID-19 cases on the Hong Kong side.

The arrangement is now scheduled to commence on 26th May 2021, with both Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines operating inaugural ‘bubble flights’ on the same day, followed by alternating flights between the two carriers each day, before both carriers ramp up to daily service from 10th June 2021.

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If the bubble goes well, other carriers like Scoot, Jetstar and HK Express may also be permitted to begin operating designated flights on the route in due course.

Singapore – Hong Kong ATB

Key Features

  • Travel on designated ‘bubble flights’
  • No restrictions on travel purpose or itineraries
  • COVID-19 testing replaces quarantine / Stay-Home Notice
  • Adult Hong Kong passport holders need to be vaccinated to fly to Singapore
  • ATB can be suspended with 48h notice if unlinked COVID-19 cases spike in either city

Eligibility

To be eligible to travel on the ATB, you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Currently be in Singapore or Hong Kong, irrespective of your nationality*
  • Have no travel history to any place other than Singapore or Hong Kong in the last 14 days prior to departure (any compulsory quarantine / Stay-Home Notice period spent in Hong Kong or Singapore arising from your last visit outside Hong Kong or Singapore does not count towards that 14-day period)
  • Have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a recognised testing institution within 72 hours prior to departure
  • Have another COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in either city
  • Be travelling on designated flights, as listed below
  • Adult (16+) Hong Kong citizens who have spent the last 90+ days in Hong Kong must have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for 14+ days to depart from Hong Kong to Singapore

* Exception: Holders of Work Permits or S Passes issued by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower working in the construction, marine shipyard, or process sectors are not eligible to travel to Hong Kong under the Air Travel Bubble arrangement.

Common question: Does a Singapore ‘cruise to nowhere’ in the last 14-days count as travel history?

No, since you do not visit another country this is not a problem, prior to a Singapore – Hong Kong ATB trip. However, cruise companies may consider your arrival from Hong Kong (even under the ATB) as recent overseas travel.

Hong Kong vaccination rule

Note that the vaccination requirement is not applicable to the following Hong Kong residents:

  • Aged below 16
  • Not suitable for COVID- 19 vaccination due to medical grounds
  • With less than 90 days’ stay in Hong Kong before departure
  • Using non-Hong Kong travel documents for departure

Crucially – that means non-Hong Kong passport holders, including for example Singapore citizens resident in Hong Kong, can sidestep the requirement to be fully vaccinated.

Hong Kong citizens normally living in Singapore can also avoid it, by staying in Hong Kong for less than 90 days each time they visit on the ATB, while children are also not prevented from travelling.

ATB designated flights

The ATB will require you to travel on designated ‘bubble’ flights. These services will only carry passengers who are travelling point-to-point between the two cities and fulfil all the ATB requirements. Transit passengers are not permitted.

Both Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines will be operating the initial ATB flights. You can book a return flight with the same airline in both directions (e.g. Singapore Airlines both ways) or you can mix between the two carriers in each direction (e.g. Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong then SIA back to Singapore).

Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines will be operating initial ‘designated flights’ for the ATB

Provided both flights you are booked on are designated ATB flights, you will be able to follow the ‘travel bubble’ procedures and avoid any quarantine or SHN period at either end of your journey.

Both airlines will launch their inaugural travel bubble services on the morning of 26th May 2021.

Singapore Airlines will operate flight SQ882 from Singapore to Hong Kong, while Cathay Pacific will operate flight CX759 from Hong Kong to Singapore.

As with the previous model of the ATB when it was first proposed, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines will operate on alternate days for the first two weeks of the bubble arrangement, then each carrier steps up to daily service from 10th June 2021.

Here’s how the schedule looks.

Singapore    Hong Kong

  Dates
SQ882
A350-900
  • May: 26, 28, 30, 31
SIN
08:40
HKG
12:40
SQ882
777-300ER
  • Jun: 2, 4, 7, 9
    Then daily from 10 Jun – 30 Sep
SIN
08:40
HKG
12:40
CX734
A350-900
  • May: 27, 29
  • Jun: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8
    Then daily from 10 Jun – 30 Jun
SIN
14:45
HKG
19:00
SIN
16:05
HKG
20:20
  • Daily from 1 Jul – 30 Sep
    (timing change)

Hong Kong    Singapore

  Dates
SQ883
A350-900
  • May: 28, 30, 31
HKG
14:25
SIN
18:20
SQ883
777-300ER
  • Jun: 2, 4, 7, 9
    Then daily from 10 Jun – 30 Sep
HKG
14:25
SIN
18:20
CX759
A350-900
  • May: 26, 27, 29
  • Jun: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8
    Then daily from 10 Jun – 30 Jun
HKG
09:10
SIN
13:05
HKG
08:30
SIN
12:25
  • Daily from 1 Jul – 30 Sep
    (timing change)

ATB flight schedules are valid until 30th September 2021, after which the programme is subject to further government approval.

ATB flights are marked in search results

Like last year, Cathay Pacific is marking which flights are available to those wishing to use the Air Travel Bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong, for bookings either via its own website or the Asia Miles platform, with a ‘Travel bubble’ icon.