LONDON – Singapore International Airlines (SIA) announced today that, it will operate daily flights between Singapore and Beijing starting 21st January 2022 till 16th March 2022 on the occasion of the Winter Olympics, being hosted in the capital city of Beijing in China.
Responding to Channel News Asia (CAN), SIA mentioned that “The flights are for both Singapore and foreign national Olympic officials and athletes”
The move by SIA was initiated after an annual Bi-lateral negotiation conference between Singapore and China on Wednesday 29th December 2021, when Singapore Transport Minister S. Iswaran expressed that the SIA will operate charter flights between Singapore and China to support the games.
Mr. S. Iswaran expressed via Facebook post that, “While air connectivity between our countries remains below 3 percent of pre-Covid 19 levels, the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022 will be a good opportunity for us to enhance people-to-people exchanges as Singapore Airlines will be operating chartered flights through Changi International Airport as a connecting hub for the region.”
Mr. Iswaran further asserted that “We will also continue bilateral discussions on mutual recognition of Covid -19 health certificate, which is a key enabler for safe travel.”
As the world is preparing for the upcoming Winter Olympics starting from 4th February 2022, the heavy reliance on chartered and temporary flights to and from Beijing is inevitable. The safe passage for athletes, officials, and other attendees is on such chartered flights is expected rather than usual commercial flights as the operations remain temporarily suspended, said Zhang Liang, the Winter Olympics Games Official in a briefing earlier this month.
While addressing the briefing Mr. Zhang asserted that all the athletes and other attendees will have to arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport before entering a closed-loop, strictly separated from other areas of China, where they will remain for their entire stay of Winter Olympics before leaving back for their countries.
Mr. Zhang further said that Chinese and foreign airlines will participate in organizing these temporary flights to and from cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, and Tokyo. He further added that “During the peak periods of arrival and departure to Beijing, an average of at least 15 inbound flights and 13 outbound flights can be provided every day.”
With strict regulations imposed by the Chinese authorities during the Winter Olympics games, Singapore Airlines is assertive that the move of bi-lateral agreement between China and Singapore will boost the relations between two nations and would further allow Singapore to establish itself as a transit hub for neighboring countries to facilitate the Winter Olympics travel.