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Asia Minute: Air travel in the Asia Pacific is picking up more slowly than elsewhere

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File

The pace of travel has picked up around the country — and not just on routes to Hawaiʻi. But in the Asia Pacific, air travel is not opening up as quickly as in other parts of the world.

A split has emerged in the global travel market — and it’s playing out this week in Asia.

Take the Singapore Airshow.

Anyone who wants to attend needs to test negative for COVID-19 each day — even if they’re fully vaccinated.

That’s a contrast to the Super Bowl and to events in many parts of Europe — reflecting an extra level of restriction that is still common across the Asia Pacific.

Quarantine and testing remain a frequent part of travel.

In Hong Kong, quarantines can last two weeks — while testing can be a daily event in Singapore.

Both cities are common transfer points for travelers around Asia — and flights to both are still at a fraction of their pre-pandemic levels.

It’s not just those locations that are affected.

The Indonesian island of Bali recently cut its mandatory quarantine period from eight days to five.

But that’s still too long for Australian bargain airline Jetstar.

Bloomberg quotes the CEO as saying, “We look forward to flying into Bali when quarantine restrictions ease further.”

Other regional destinations have made adjustments.

Starting this week, all fully vaccinated travelers can go to the Philippines — no quarantine required.

And changes in quarantine policy are expected shortly in Japan.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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