With Australia gradually opening its borders state-by-state to international visitors, we’ve already had news of concessions for vaccinated Singapore Citizens to take all-purpose trips to Sydney and Melbourne starting this weekend, with further options likely in the coming weeks as vaccination targets are reached.
While there has been no official date set, Singapore’s Jetstar Asia is already foreseeing a border relaxation in Western Australia, currently one of the most cautious Aussie states in terms of its travel restrictions during the pandemic.
The airline is planning a mid-February 2022 restart for its passenger flights between Singapore and Perth, when “two-way quarantine-free travel is expected to be available”, according to the Qantas Group carrier.
Jetstar Asia has announced plans to relaunch services between Singapore and Perth from 12 February 2022, when two-way quarantine-free travel is expected to be available to travellers.Jetstar
Fully vaccinated travellers from Australia can already enter Singapore quarantine-free since 8th November 2021, but they must travel on one of the designated VTL flights from Sydney or Melbourne, with Darwin joining the list from 21st December.
Jetstar will serve Perth four times per week from 12th February 2022 using Airbus A320s, with an evening 6pm departure from Singapore touching down at 11.15pm.
The return routing from Perth to Singapore, which commences shortly after midnight on 13th February 2021, makes a 5.30am touchdown back at Changi.
From 12th February 2022
Jetstar Asia last served the Singapore – Perth route in March 2018, around two years prior to the pandemic.
Flights are now loaded with round-trip fares from Singapore to Perth and back from S$421.
Jetstar says the VTL status of flight 3K132 from Perth to Singapore is pending approval, with all four weekly flights in the PER-SIN direction expected to join the scheme.
Jetstar predicts significant “pent-up demand for travellers wanting to return to this popular Australian destination”.
Pre-pandemic, Singapore travellers made up the largest group of visitors to Perth and with thousands of Singaporeans calling Western Australia home, the route is expected to be as popular as ever.Jetstar
Perth won’t be Jetstar’s first VTL route into Singapore, however.
The low cost carrier is also commencing designated VTL flights from Melbourne (4 times weekly) and Darwin (3 times weekly) to Singapore from mid-December 2021.
Jetstar is also currently operating passenger flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and between Singapore and Jakarta, 14 times weekly in both cases, however it has not yet been announced whether any of these will become designated VTL services once both Malaysia and Indonesia join the scheme.
Update: Jetstar will operate a daily VTL flight between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Qantas restarting Perth
Jetstar’s parent company Qantas is restarting daily Airbus A330 Perth – Singapore services on 27th March 2022, though we noticed the carrier has loaded four times weekly flights from 14th February 2022 into GDS, six weeks earlier, not yet available for sale.
That suggests the airline may coincide its own Perth – Singapore relaunch in line with Jetstar’s, from mid-February.
It has not been announced whether Qantas will seek or obtain VTL approval for its own services, though that does seem likely, as does a conversion of at least some Singapore Airlines and Scoot Perth – Singapore flights to VTL status, once border reopening is confirmed.
Earlier this week, Scoot told the Straits Times it “looks forward to supporting the demand for VTL travel from Perth next year”, while SIA said it had no plans to operate VTL flights from Perth to Singapore.
The Qantas Group appears to have made its confident schedule adjustments following Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan’s announcement in early November that the state would open its borders to New South Wales, Victoria and international travellers once 90% of the eligible population (aged 12+) is fully vaccinated.
That goal is expected to be achieved in late January or early February next year.
We’re expecting some positive border news from Australian states like South Australia and Queensland in the weeks ahead as they reach vaccination targets, potentially meaning cities like Adelaide and Brisbane may pick up VTL flights to Singapore again, while also welcoming inbound international tourism.
It’s Western Australia where the walls have been put up the highest during the pandemic, however, so it’s great to see a timeline for the same vaccination targets and reopening in that state from early 2022.
Qantas and Jetstar seem confident, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see SIA and Scoot on board too with VTL flights on the popular Perth – Singapore route, once border restrictions are officially lifted.
(Cover Photo: PANUMAS PIX / Shutterstock)