Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Singaporeans in Hong Kong fly home to pay last respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

High demand for seats on Singapore Airlines Flight SQ865 from Hong Kong bound for Singapore last Friday night prompted the carrier to use a 409-seater Airbus A380 superjumbo instead of its usual 278-seater B777 aircraft.

Airfares from Hong Kong to Singapore on SIA and Cathay Pacific also surged three to four times because of the demand, as Singaporeans headed home to pay their last respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

A ticket usually costs HK$1,700 (S$300) to HK$2,000, but fares went up to between HK$6,000 and HK$9,000 on Friday night.

Analyst Francis Phuang, 27, paid more to get back yesterday morning. He took a quick shower at the airport and went straight to join the queue at Parliament House.

"I know at least 40 Singaporean bankers and lawyers working in Hong Kong who had rushed back home to do the same," he said.

"This is a critical moment for the country and we want to be together with the rest of Singapore."

Janice Tai