News for Asia

KTO: South Korea removes PCR test requirement for international arrivals

4 October, 2022

Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) announced (30-Sep-2022) South Korea's Government will no longer require international arrivals to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours after entering South Korea, effective from 01-Oct-2022. [more - original PR]

Taiwan to end quarantine for arriving passengers

30 September, 2022

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center announced (29-Sep-2022) arriving passengers will no longer be required to quarantine and will instead undergo a seven day period of self initiated epidemic prevention after arrival, effective 13-Oct-2022. Taiwan will also trial a weekly cap of 150,000 arriving passengers. [more - original PR]

British Airways and Qatar Airways complete expansion of joint business partnership

27 September, 2022

British Airways and Qatar Airways completed (26-Sep-2022) the last phase in the expansion of their partnership, stating they now offer "connectivity between more countries than any other airline joint business". The airlines added 42 countries to their shared network, including Italy, Maldives, Norway, Singapore and Sweden, expanding access between destinations in Europe and the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Oceania. The expansion will enable connecting journeys on single tickets through Doha and London, bringing the number of destinations served by the two airlines to 185 across more than 60 countries. Customers can engage with both airlines' loyalty programmes, earning and spending the common Avios currency. Cooperation on "a small number of routes" remains subject to pending regulatory clearances. [more - original PR - British Airways] [more - original PR - Qatar Airways]

Hong Kong lifts hotel quarantine requirement for inbound travellers

26 September, 2022

Hong Kong's Government announced (24-Sep-2022) plans to lift the compulsory quarantine requirement for all inbound travellers, effective 26-Sep-2022. The government stated its goal is to minimise the inconvenience faced by inbound travellers due to quarantine requirements and allow room for Hong Kong to connect with the world as far as possible, while being able to contain the epidemic development. Effective 26-Sep-2022, boarding requirements and quarantine arrangements will be as follows:

  • Negative self arranged rapid antigen test conducted within 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure time should be made via the online Health & Quarantine Information Declaration of the Department of Health;
  • Non-Hong Kong residents aged 12 or above will still be required to be fully vaccinated or have obtained a medical exemption certificate before they are allowed to board a flight for Hong Kong;
  • 'Test-and-go' arrangement will be implemented at the Hong Kong International Airport;
  • Quarantine arrangement upon arrival at Hong Kong will be changed to '0+3', comprising three days of medical surveillance followed by a four day self monitoring period. [more - original PR]

Japan to remove daily cap and resume individual travel from mid Oct-2022

23 September, 2022

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced (22-Sep-2022) plans to remove the cap on daily arrivals and resume visa free individual travel to Japan, effective 11-Oct-2022. The government also plans to restart its domestic travel subsidy and event discount programmes to support the accommodation, travel and entertainment industries. [more - original PR - Japanese]

Lufthansa City Center business travel segment 'recovering faster than expected'

23 September, 2022

Lufthansa City Center (LCC) reported (22-Sep-2022) its business travel segment is "recovering faster than expected", and forecasts the pre-pandemic level could be reached by the end of 2023 "if the development continues". Following "very strong recent bookings", the company expects to achieve 80% of the 2019 levels of turnover in 2022. Managing director Markus Orth stated LCC is currently detaching itself from the general development in the market with its strong recovery, highlighting the company "benefits greatly from its focus on medium-sized companies". Mr Orth said employees of medium-sized companies are currently going on much more frequent business trips compared to large corporations, while "a large number of high-revenue new customers were gained who were specifically looking for a TMC with a high level of consulting expertise". Mr Orth expects a "push in Asia" for 4Q2022, with demand for trips to China high and customers willing to pay the currently high prices. LCC also expects travel to Hong Kong and Singapore to continue to increase, while the "important North American business is also continuing to do well". [more - original PR - German]

Taiwan announces timeline for relaxing entry restrictions, raising weekly arrival cap

23 September, 2022

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center announced (22-Sep-2022) the mandatory quarantine will remain at three days of quarantine and four days of self initiated epidemic prevention, although arrivals will be permitted to spend the entire seven day period in a residence under the one person per room rule, effective 29-Sep-2022. Also, effective 29-Sep-2022, the weekly cap on arrivals will be increased from 50,000 to 60,000, while on arrival saliva PCR testing will be removed, replaced with four rapid test kits. Under phase two, the quarantine requirement will be lifted and a seven day self initiated epidemic prevention will be enforced, effective 13-Oct-2022. [more - original PR] [more - original PR II] [more - original PR III]

China Southern Airlines resumes London-Guangzhou pax service

22 September, 2022

China Southern Airlines, via its official Weibo account, announced (16-Sep-2022) the first London-Guangzhou passenger service resumed on 15-Sep-2022, marking the first resumption since Jan-2021. China Southern resumed Guangzhou-London passenger service in Aug-2022.

Batik Air (Malaysia) to launch nonstop Kuala Lumpur-Melbourne service

22 September, 2022

Batik Air (Malaysia) plans to launch seven times weekly Kuala Lumpur-Melbourne service from 06-Dec-2022 through 06-Feb-2023 with Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, as per a 14-Sep-2022 GDS display and inventory. Overall Batik Air (Malaysia) service to Melbourne will increase to 14 times weekly, with daily service via Bali continuing to operate. 

Xiamen Airlines to operate 19 international services in Oct-2022

22 September, 2022

Xiamen Airlines plans to operate the following 19 international services in Oct-2022 (Carnoc.com, 20-Sep-2022):

  • Xiamen-Los Angeles: Twice weekly;
  • Xiamen-Vancouver: Weekly;
  • Xiamen-Amsterdam: Weekly;
  • Xiamen-Sydney: Weekly;
  • Xiamen-Melbourne: Weekly;
  • Xiamen-Seoul: Three times weekly;
  • Xiamen-Phnom Penh: Weekly;
  • Xiamen-Manila: Weekly;
  • Xiamen-Kuala Lumpur: Weekly;
  • Xiamen-Singapore: Weekly;
  • Xiamen-Bangkok: Twice weekly;
  • Fuzhou-Tokyo: Weekly;
  • Fuzhou-Jakarta: Weekly;
  • Xiamen-Hong Kong: Four times weekly;
  • Xiamen-Taiwan Taoyuan: Daily;
  • Xiamen-Taipei Songshan: Three times weekly;
  • Hangzhou-Hong Kong: Weekly;
  • Fuzhou-Hong Kong: Four times weekly;
  • Tianjin-Hong Kong: Twice weekly.
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