KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — Flight bookings between Kuala Lumpur-Singapore shot up immediately after the two South-east Asian countries rolled back Covid-19 travel curbs yesterday.
Straits Times cited travel platforms saying that bookings rose despite the lack of clear guidelines and outlines for the designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) as people from both sides looked forward to returning home.
Bertrand Saillet, the Asia managing director at business travel specialist FCM Travel, told the Singapore daily that the firm has been receiving inquiries since yesterday and expects it to continue to peak in the coming days.
“The year-end holiday season will also be an opportunity for strong recovery as a significant number of business travellers will choose to extend their trips for that short year-end getaway, even if it's a nearby destination like Malaysia.
“The desire to get out of Singapore for a break is very strong,” he was quoted as saying.
According to the news report, there will be six designated flights for quarantine-free travel between the countries and applications for the scheme will start from November 22.
Andhini Putri, vice-president for marketing transport and financial services at travel booking platform Traveloka, told Straits Times that it received double-digit percentage growth in bookings for flights between Malaysia and Singapore since yesterday.
Expedia Group Brands' Asia head of communications Lavinia Rajaram was reported saying it received a 17-fold increase in terms of search volumes for flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia and Singapore will allow quarantine-free travel between both countries for individuals fully inoculated against Covid-19 at the end of this month.
In a joint statement yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong announced that a VTL would be launched between Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Changi Airport on November 29.
Under the VTL, travellers will be only required to take Covid-19 tests in lieu of serving quarantine that was previously mandatory, the statement added.
Malaysia is also ready to speak with the United Kingdom on VTL travel between both countries.