Airfares to Japan, Korea, and Taiwan are all high at year-end holidays.
Asian destinations are attracting large numbers of visitors during the holiday season at the end of this year. Photo: CNA.
Travelers booking flights from Singapore to several Asian destinations are paying more for the upcoming December holiday than in the same period before the Covid-19 pandemic. This comes as several popular destinations, including Japan and Taiwan, recently reopened their borders to tourists after two and a half years of travel restrictions.
According to Traveloka, one-way airfares from Singapore to Seoul have increased by as much as 78% during the year-end period compared to 2019. When CNA checked flight comparison website Flightcanner, cheapest itinerary available to Korea from Dec 19-31 costs 664 SGD. This is direct return flight of low-cost airlines Scoot as well as T’Way Air. The airlines started flights between Singapore and Incheon earlier this year.
Round-trip fares on airlines such as Korean Air and Singapore Airlines are priced at 1,263 SGD and 1,924 SGD, respectively.
According to Traveloka, fares from Singapore to the Philippines have increased by 70%, while the cost of flying to Thailand is about 47% higher. The cost of flights to Indonesia has increased by 43%.
“Bookings are steadily increasing on our platform,” said Traveloka President Caesar Indra.
Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company, has observed a similar trend.
The average airfare to Malaysia for the year-end holiday has increased by as much as 50%, while the price to Bangkok has increased by more than 25%. And although fares to Japan have also increased, the increase has not been as large as other Asian destinations.
According to Expedia, it costs about 15% more on average to fly to Tokyo during the December holiday than it did in the same period in 2019. Flightcanner lists direct return fares to Tokyo for as little as S$1,043 for the period December 19-31, for Japan Airlines flights.
Expedia Group Asia head Lavinia Rajaram noted that many airlines have introduced additional flights to key destinations such as Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. This will help lower airfares.
The Traveloka president added that larger carriers have increased capacity on flights to Japan by more than 30% on average, while smaller carriers have increased by 10%.
In addition to countries opening up, loosening borders, the recent increase in fuel fees has also contributed to the increase in airfares, she added.
He added: “While travelers may be looking for lower-cost options when planning their travel, we don’t see airfares dampening travelers’ preferences for travel. schedule in the near future”.
Mr. Indra said a significant number of Singaporean tourists have planned year-end holidays on the platform. Top destinations include Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines and Japan.
Earlier this month, Singapore’s Transport Minister S Iswaran said the air transport sector in the first half of 2022 had recovered about 80% from pre-pandemic levels. Changi Airport also began ramping up operations as demand for flights increased, reopening Terminal 4 in September after it was suspended due to the pandemic. The airport has also begun a phased reopening of Terminal 2.
@ Zing News