Asia airlines hope Omicron variant setback will be short-lived

Asia airlines hope Omicron variant setback will be short-lived

7/12/2021 9:24:00 AM

Asia airlines hope Omicron variant setback will be short-lived

SYDNEY: A nascent recovery in Asia-Pacific international travel demand has been set back by the Omicron variant as governments tighten rules, but airline bosses say they hope any backward moves will be short-lived. International passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific was at just 5.4 per cent of pre-pandemic lev

.The Omicrom variant's appearance follows a downturn in travel after the Delta variant emerged in India and spread globally, but vaccination rates have since risen and health experts are gauging whether the new variant causes as severe illness as other variants.

"We still haven't figured out whether this is a spanner in the works or a fly in the ointment," Association of Asia Pacific Airlines Director General Subhas Menon said of Omicron."From what we see now it looks more like a fly in the ointment that is still good for using."

Traveller confidence tends to be closely linked to government announcements, said Sue Carter, head of APAC at booking technology firm Travelport."We have seen some searches go down week on week," she said.Omicron is also leading to scheduling headaches for airlines trying to adjust to changing requirements. headtopics.com

BOJ debated chance of inflation pick-up towards 2per cent as price hikes broaden

In Australia, fully vaccinated travellers to Sydney and Melbourne mustisolate at their home or a hotel for 72 hoursafter arrival because of the Omicron variant.That compares with an earlier policy of no isolation, which had led Hawaiian Airlines to add five weekly Honolulu-Sydney flights starting this month, rather than an initial plan for three, its chief executive Peter Ingram said.

"I will tell you the airplanes are not going to be full on the very early days," he said of the route."But we are seeing pretty good bookings over the holiday period into January. So we think it is it is going to recover."

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