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COVID-19: APAC travel industry news

An archive of APAC information that those working in the travel industry may find useful
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Articles - APAC

04/08/20 Korea: South Korean carriers take further measures to cope with the virus

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Asiana Airlines announced April 7 that it would be increasing the limit on its credit lines with the Korean development bank, while Korean Air has said that it will effectively close for 6 months from April 16 until October 15. They added that they will sell non-essential assets to aid its financial stability. IATA has predicted a fall of 40% in passenger numbers in South Korea, resulting in a revenue loss of $8.4bn. 

Flight Global, 8 April 2020, Online 

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04/08/20 Malaysia: Malaysia charts courses for tourism recovery

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Tourism Malaysia plans to restart international promotions, starting this September, in an effort to focus on domestic recovery.  The director general of Tourism Malaysia has said that, once the outbreak has been contained locally, they plan to immediately focus on recovering domestic tourism and increase demand for the travel trade related services.  

TTG Asia, 8 April 2020, Online 

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04/07/20 India: Leaders reluctant to end world’s largest lockdown

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India’s 21 day lockdown is set to end next week but leaders are pushing for an extention. Whilst the number of cases of COVID-19 has yet to surge the lockdown has caused many that earn a basic daily wage without work. Many have fled their current home to return to the countryside in search of food and shelter.  

Reuters, 7 April, Online  

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04/06/20 China: Hotel industry starts to see positive signs

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Data from STR shows how hotel occupancy rates in mainland China are increasing, reaching 31.8% on 28 March, compared to 7.4% in the first week of February. Another positive sign shows that 87% of hotels are now open. 

TTG, 6 April, Online  

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04/03/20 APAC: Domestic airlines expected to lead the rebound

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CAPA highlights how a strong domestic operation is an advantage for airlines amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Whilst a broad spread of international routes is typically the best way to successfully navigate dips, this crisis has closed multiple borders and as such those with a strong domestic route-map have an advantage.   

CAPA, 3 April 2020, Online 

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04/03/20 APAC: IATA say APAC airlines are facing a liquidity crisis

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IATA has been highlighting the plight of airlines across APAC region. Analysis estimates passenger demand to have dropped by 34% to 44% based on gradual lifts on travel bans after a 3-month period. This equates to revenue loss of US$88bn. 

Travel Weekly Asia, 3 April 2020, Online 

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04/02/20 APAC: PATA launches crisis resource centre and tourism recovery monitor

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The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announced the launch of ‘The crisis resource centre and tourism recovering monitor’. The aim of this is to collate and provide reliable data and information to assist industry stakeholders to deal with the current crisis.

Travel Daily News, 2 April 2020, Online

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04/01/20 Singapore: Singapore Airlines to extend Krisflyer PPS club member status by 12 months

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Airlines around the world have been extending their loyalty programme with Singapore Airlines becoming the latest to join. Earlier this week Qatar Airways announced a similar approach [Article link] as well as British Airways reducing the upgrade tier threshold by 30% [Article link]

Business Traveller, 1 April 2020, Online

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04/01/20 Singapore: Singapore Airlines eyes just three European destinations in April

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The airline has published its April timetable which indicated that they will only fly to three European cities: London, Frankfurt, and Zurich. They have also cut Asian destinations with only four destinations in East Asia.  

Simple Flying, 1 April 2020, Online 

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03/27/20 China: Domestic aviation industry showing an upward trend

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China’s domestic passenger numbers are starting to make a recovery, after some regions open-up after a three month lockdown. Load factors, which once hit a low of 40%, are now recovering and back up to 60%. Internationally, China has imposed strict measures, allowing only one flight per week to any destinations with a max load factor of 75%.

Airlines IATA, 27 March 2020, Online

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03/30/20 China: Wuhan hotels see initial rise

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Analysts from STR indicated that the main Chinese market to recover quickly was Wuhan. However, it is too early to draw any conclusions from the data as this is a unique event.

Travel Weekly Asia, 30 March 2020, Online

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03/30/20 Australia: MICE adapts to the current climate

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An interview with QODE who have adapted their live tech event to an online event to avoid cancelling it altogether.

TTG MICE, 30 March 2020, Online

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03/27/20 AsiaPac: PATA launches crisis help

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Pacific Asian Travel Association (PATA) has launched a crisis resource center, supporting its members by using data and research. The aim to is aid recovery post-crisis through knowledge.

Travel Daily Media, 27 March 2020, Online

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03/26/20 Australia: Australian travel agent association offers support

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AFTA (Australian Federation of Travel Agents) announces a series of measures to support agents. These include a deduction of membership fees for the next year, and a focus on supporting the industry in securing assistance and reforms.

Travel Daily Media, 26 March 2020, Online

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03/26/20 Singapore: Singapore Airlines secures S$19bn in funding

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Singapore Airlines has secured S$19bn in funding to help secure the airlines future. The funds aim to help the airline through the crisis and give it the ability to expand once the crisis ends. It is the single largest of such packages announced by an airline since the pandemic began.

Nasdaq, 26 March 2020, Online

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03/26/20 Australia: Qantas secures loan against aircraft

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Qantas as agreed more than A$1bn of additional debt funding as it tries to secure a future out of the pandemic. The funding will increase the company’s available cash balance to A$2.95bn with additional A$1bn undrawn facility available, which would allow the company to try and secure the future of the national carrier.

Travel Weekly, 26 March 2020, Online

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03/26/20 Singapore: Singapore aviation and tourism industry to receive S$1bn in assistance

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Funds of S$1bn have been set aside to help the travel industry to sustain their business, with 75% of the funds going towards the aviation industry. The aim is to support jobs and provide funding for relief.

Travel Weekly Asia, 26 March 2020, Online

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3/26/20 China: China orders a dramatic cut in international flights for fear of reviving the outbreak

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The Chinese civil aviation authority (CAAC) ordered airlines to limit flights to once a week to any international destination for the purpose of epidemic containment. China is restricting visitors to curb any resurgence in the COVID-19 brought inbound from international travelers.

Reuters, 26 March 2020, Online

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03/24/20 China: Hubei province to remove travel bans starting March 25

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The health commissioner for Hubei has said in a statement that all travel restrictions in and out of the Hubei province will be removed, except for Wuhan. Travel bans for leaving Wuhan will be lifted on April 8.

The Straits Times, 24 March 2020, Online

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03/24/20 Vietnam: Vietjet stated it will compensate customers if they catch COVID-19 after flying with them

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Vietnamese airline, Vietjet, has announced that it is prepared to pay customers up to 200m VND (£7,344) if they catch the virus after they flew with them. The payout will be a part of its new “SKY COVID CARE insurance” which will cover all domestic flights between 23rd march and 30 June 2020.

Independent, 24 March 2020, online

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03/24/20 China: Qunar and Ctrip have resumed bookings for travel packages

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Qunar and Ctrip, two of China’s biggest online providers, have resumed bookings for travel packages

South China Morning Post, 21 March 2020, online

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03/23/20 India: Uber and Ola suspend all rides

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Uber and Ola have suspended all rides in India’s capital until 31 March. New Delhi has ordered a city- wide lock-down until the end of the month.

TechCrunch, 23 March 2020, online

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