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SIA, Scoot expand flights under vaccinated travel lane scheme to include Melbourne, Sydney and Zurich

SIA, Scoot expand flights under vaccinated travel lane scheme to include Melbourne, Sydney and Zurich

A passenger pushes his trolley after collecting his baggage at Changi Airport. (File photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) will operate vaccinated travel lane (VTL) flights from Melbourne, Sydney and Zurich from Nov 8, after authorities announced that the quarantine-free travel arrangement will be extended to Australia and Switzerland.

Two daily flights from Melbourne to Singapore, SQ218 and SQ228, will be designated as VTL services, said the carrier on Tuesday (Oct 26).

It will also operate twice-daily VTL flights from Sydney to Singapore - SQ212 and SQ222.

SIA added that its daily service from Zurich to Singapore, SQ345, will operate as a VTL flight.

Sister airline and budget operator Scoot will operate daily VTL services from Melbourne (TR19), as well as four times a week from Sydney (TR 13).

Flight schedules for the VTL flights operated by SIA will be published on the airline's website.

"These flights are open for booking but will be indicated as VTL flights on our website progressively," said SIA.

Under the vaccinated travel lane scheme, travellers must have remained in one or more of the VTL countries in the last 14 days before departure to Singapore. 

They must take two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests - before departure and on arrival at Changi Airport - and enter Singapore via designated flights.

For Australia, the travel arrangement is not reciprocal. Two-way travel is open only to fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families due to its current border measures.

The vaccinated travel lane is currently not open to Singapore residents looking to travel to Australia for leisure.

The announcement of the Australia and Switzerland VTLs comes at "an ideal time", allowing customers to plan for their holidays and reunions with family and loved ones during the year-end, said SIA.

SIA Group has so far announced VTL services from 20 cities.

Australia is among Singapore's top 10 markets for annual passenger arrivals at Changi Airport, accounting for about 4 per cent of total arrivals in 2019, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) earlier on Tuesday.

More than 50,000 Singaporeans live in Australia, it noted, adding that about 25,000 Australians live in Singapore.

Switzerland ranks among Singapore’s top trading and investment partners, with about 3,000 Swiss expatriates living in Singapore, said CAAS.

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Source: CNA/jt(gs)