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BAHOL, Philippines – Poor travelers from India, Bangladesh and Malaysia will soon be able to buy tickets from Singapore to Singapore to BAHOT to visit friends and family, in a move that has been hailed as a major development.
The Government of Singapore announced the change last week, after receiving several complaints from travelers from across the world.
They say the Singapore Airlines (SAS) fares are too high and that they are forced to pay more for tickets from other cities, which are cheaper.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said it will increase fares for travellers from India and Bangladesh by 25% on July 1 and 20, and the fares for Singaporeans will be halved by the same date.
Bangladesh and Malaysia are already exempt from the rules, so there is no limit on the number of tickets Singaporeans can buy.
Singapore Airlines said the increase will cover only the first three days of travel, and only for Singapore citizens.
“We’re committed to making the Singapore journey affordable and to making travel more affordable for Singaporean travellers,” it said in a statement.
Many other Southeast Asian countries also have a similar exemption, which allows people from those countries to buy flights to Singapore from their own homes.
Since the new rules take effect, Singapore is also exempt from restrictions on buying tickets from some airports.
Travelers from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia will be able buy tickets to Singapore, the MFA said.
In October, Singapore Airlines said it would offer cheaper tickets to tourists from India from the Philippines.
There are no direct flights between the two countries, so travellers from the two will need to purchase tickets from a ticket broker.
Passengers from Bangladesh and Indonesia will also be able visit friends in Singapore, according to the MPA.
More than 1.5 million people are registered as homeless in the Philippines, with 1.3 million of them being in the capital Manila, according the Office of the Tourism Secretary.
About 20,000 homeless Filipinos are already living in shelters, while 1,400 more are waiting to be housed.
Renters from India were also recently banned from boarding Singapore Airlines flights after complaints.
People from Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bangladeshistan and Sri Lanka were also banned from flying on the Singapore airlines after the government said they were illegally using Singapore’s tax-free status to move between the three countries.