Singapore & South Korea in air travel agreement whilst the UK hesitates


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Global economic hubs Singapore and South Korea have continued to show pragmatism and an understanding of the need to keep business moving by securing an agreement for a fast lane for essential business travel.

Singapore’s government has said that the agreement would support the economy and restore connectivity. Public health will understandably be a major factor in the operation of such an agreement with passengers requiring testing before and after arrival at their destinations. Singapore also recently reached a similar arrangement with Brunei and has previously done so with China and Malaysia.

Elsewhere, whilst South Korea and Singapore move forward the UK aviation sector is speaking out against the government for maintaining a rigid policy approach and failing to implement COVID-19 testing at airports. John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow, was clear when he said, “the UK government needs to get behind testing as an alternative to quarantine to save millions of jobs in this country.”

The chief executive of AGS Airports, Derek Provan also voiced concern saying, “we are not getting any response back from the government” with regards to regional travel corridors.

In response to the latest criticism the Department of Transport has said “while protecting public health remains our priority, we are working closely with experts to keep our approach to quarantine under constant review.”

GENN Chairman Shanker Singham has written in The Telegraph of how important aviation is to economic hubs and how we can boost global trade through smarter, more pragmatic policies in this sector.

Whether the UK government changes its policy to one that takes advantage of testing to breathe new life into business travel and the economy remains to be seen.

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