COVID-19: Singapore’s Changi Airport Group to close another terminal

Announcement comes day after airport is named ‘World’s Best’ by Skytrax

(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Singapore’s award-winning Changi Airport will shutter another terminal to save costs as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on global passenger aviation with tens of thousands of planes grounded, borders closed around the world and no clear idea of when passengers will take to the skies again. The news just a day after the airport was once again named the “World’s Best Airport” by Skytrax.

Changi’s newest terminal, T4, will be closed starting on 16 May. (PHOTO: CAG)

Changi Airport Group (CAG) had already closed Terminal 2 (T2) ahead of a planned shutdown for renovation work and said starting on 16 May, it would close the newest terminal at its facilities, Terminal 4, “to optimise resources in tandem with the sharp decline in flight movements because of the global COVID-19 pandemic”.

Airlines currently using T4 will operate out of Terminals 1 (T1) or 3 (T3) instead. Stores and restaurants in T4 will close and the shuttle bus service connecting to T3 will be suspended until operations in T4 resume. The timing of this will depend on when air travel demand picks up and on the requirements of airlines seeking to relaunch flights at Changi Airport, CAG said in its statement.

A screenshot of the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracking site. To access the live site, click on the image. (PHOTO: Matt Driskill)

In view of the low demand, Skytrain services in the airport have been reduced. Visitors and staff can continue to use the MRT link bridge between T3 and T2, and the link bridges leading to Jewel Changi Airport (Jewel). Taxi stands at T1 and T3 will be consolidated, with one serving each terminal. On the airside, several finger piers in T1 and T3 will not be used for flights until demand returns.

During Singapore’s current “circuit breaker period”, which is scheduled to end on 1 June, food and beverage outlets at Changi are open for take-away, and essential services such as pharmacies continue to serve airport staff and the public in the airport’s public areas, including Jewel.

World’s Best

Changi officials with the Skytrax awards. (PHOTO: CAG)

Meanwhile, the airport was voted the “World’s Best Airport” for the eighth consecutive year by Skytrax. Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax said: “For Singapore Changi Airport to be voted the World’s Best Airport title for eight consecutive years is a truly remarkable achievement and demonstrates a simply fantastic level of consistency. Singapore Changi Airport remains a very popular choice with customers and delights at nearly all points in the airport journey, and it is this attention to detail that proves so popular.”

The annual survey and awards finalisation was all completed this year in March, but due to COVID-19 the awards event scheduled for 1 April Paris was cancelled.

The Top 10 Airports

  1. Singapore Changi Airport
  2. Tokyo Haneda Airport
  3. Hamad International Airport Doha
  4. Incheon International Airport
  5. Munich Airport
  6. Hong Kong International Airport
  7. Narita International Airport
  8. Central Japan International Airport
  9. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  10. Kansai International Airport

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Asian Aviation
Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.



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