High demand after Singapore Airlines expands Vaccinated Travel Lane flights
A weekend announcement that Singapore Airlines (SIA) was expanding quarantine-free Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights to 14 cities sparked high demand at the carrier that stretched its customer service system. Read More » The response prompted the airline to add resources at servicing points and warn customers its agents could take longer than usual to respond to queries about new and existing bookings. SIA announced on Saturday it broadening its VTL network after the Singapore government widened the quarantine-free arrangement to Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the U.S. This was in addition to the existing arrangements with Germany and Brunei. SIA already operates VTL services from Bandar Seri Begawan, Frankfurt, and Munich. New VTL services start on October 19 from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Paris and Rome. Flights to Seoul from November 16 will bring total VTLs to 14. Travellers can avoid quarantine by taking and passing COVID tests. The quarantine relaxation comes as more than 83% of the city state’s population is now fully vaccinated. Up to 3,000 travellers a day will be able to enter Singapore the VTLs. The government said it is discussing quarantine free travel with several other countries. One advantage of the new rules is passengers will be allowed to take multi-city itineraries within VTL countries if they meet a 14-day travel history requirement. As a result, a passenger can fly from Singapore to Paris, Paris to Amsterdam and still take a VTL flight from Amsterdam to Singapore. “Singapore’s expansion of the VTL arrangements to 11 countries is great news for our customers, who can now reunite with their loved ones more easily or finally go on that overseas holiday,” said SIA vice president commercial, Lee Lik Hsin. “The SIA Group supports all measures to reopen Singapore to quarantine-free international travel. This will enable the safe and gradual recovery of Changi Airport as a major air hub, backed by rising vaccination rates and confidence in the robust health and safety measures across the end-to-end customer journey.” SIA budget offshoot, Scoot, also announced it will resume three times a week non-stop flights between Singapore and Berlin from October 19. Scoot also is preparing to operate VTL flights to Seoul subject to regulatory approval.