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Singapore Airlines and other Asian carriers have been hit hard by tough travel restrictions in the region.   © Reuters
Business Spotlight

COVID curbs leave Asian airlines lagging their U.S. peers

Loss-hit Singapore and Japan carriers pin recovery hopes on borders reopening

KENTARO IWAMOTO, Nikkei staff writer | Singapore

SINGAPORE -- Asia's airlines are struggling to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, with the biggest operators reporting significant losses -- again -- for the July-September quarter, reflecting the region's prolonged travel curbs.

Nearly two years since the onset of the pandemic, Western countries now lead the world's recovery from the crisis, with major U.S. airlines logging net profits in the quarter. But in Asia, strict safety measures to limit the spread of the delta variant continued to curtail demand for domestic and international travel in core markets, from China to Japan to Southeast Asia. Airlines are streamlining their operations, hoping to speed the return to profit if recent reopening moves by local governments unleash pent-up demand.

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