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Asia Aviation: Can travel bubbles provide the way forward?

Crew:

I’ll just hit record and [inaudible 00:00:00] myself and good luck. Okay.

Peter:

Hello. Welcome to CAPA Live, talking about the Asia Pacific region aviation and travel. Delighted to have with us again, Subhas Menon, who’s the Director General of AAPA, that is the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, and Mario Hardy, who’s CEO of PATA, the Pacific Asia Travel Association. Gentlemen, great to see you again.

Mario Hardy:

Good morning, Peter.

Subhas Menon:

Good to see you Peter.

Peter:

If I could, let’s kick off with a look at just what’s happening country by country from a COVID point of view, because things have changed quite dramatically since we last spoke a couple of months ago. And I think the feeling was fairly much of optimism and well, the worst is past. It’s probably not where we stand now. Mario, if I could start with you.

Mario Hardy:

Yeah, I agree with you. I think a few months ago were, some of us were maybe a bit more optimistic, but certainly in the last couple of weeks, for several countries around the region here, not so optimistic anymore. Certainly for Thailand, the restrictions are back on. Bangkok capital is actually on complete lockdown for the next two weeks at least, possibly more because the number of cases keep rising on a daily basis, number of death keeps rising too. Singapore just found a new cluster this morning and are putting restrictions again, bubbles between Singapore, Hong Kong on and off, on and off, on and off. And of course India, which is, really, really challenging times for them at the moment. And of course, many countries who are now actually stopping access to the Indian market, worrying that the variant might actually be entering their destination and create new cluster of cases and masses again. So not so optimistic at the moment.

Peter:

I think Korea too is undergoing a spike. Japan obviously is certain has been suffering recently too.

Mario Hardy:

Yes. Yeah. With Japan, with the Olympics coming up and initially…

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