SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Budget carrier Jetstar Asia has received approval from the authorities to operate designated flights from Thailand and Cambodia into Singapore under a quarantine-free travel scheme, ahead of the scheme's expansion to six more countries next week.
The carrier said on Tuesday (Dec 7) that it will operate up to five vaccinated travel lane (VTL) flights a week from Bangkok to Singapore from Dec 15.
It will also operate five weekly VTL flights from Phnom Penh to Singapore from Dec 16.
Under the VTL scheme, inbound travellers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 do not have to serve stay-home notice on arrival in Singapore. But they will have to book designated flights, and undergo several Covid-19 swab tests.
Singapore will extend the VTL scheme to travellers from Thailand from 11.59pm on Dec 13.
The scheme will be further expanded to travellers arriving from Cambodia, along with Fiji, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Turkey, from 11.59pm on Dec 15.
As Thailand and Cambodia have earlier opened up their borders to vaccinated travellers from Singapore, the Republic's move to expand the VTL to them paves the way for quarantine-free round trips to these countries.
Travellers do not have to book designated flights in order to fly to Bangkok and Phnom Penh without quarantine.
Jetstar Asia's head of commercial and regional general manager of South-east Asia, Mr Woo Wai Keong, said that Bangkok and Phnom Penh have vibrant street life and delicious food.
"Not only will local travellers welcome this news, but we also expect to see strong demand for these services from transiting passengers travelling from Europe and the United States via Singapore," he said.
Flag carrier Singapore Airlines earlier announced that it will operate 14 weekly VTL flights from Bangkok to Singapore from Dec 14.
It will also operate a daily VTL flight from Phnom Penh from Dec 16.
By Dec 16, Singapore will have started VTLs for 24 countries.
According to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, 26 airlines have secured approval to operate VTL flights into Singapore.