Government officials have said Singapore can expect to see more than 80 percent of pre-COVID levels of flight activity at the award-winning airport soon. The number of flights that airlines have filed to operate in Changi Airport by the year end has already exceeded more than 80 percent of pre-COVID, according to Transport Minister S. Iswaran. He said in Parliament on Monday that his ministry makes projections based on flight plans that airlines file with Changi Airport in advance, as well as the opening of source markets, particularly in the Asia-Pacific.
The reopening of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan is likely to further increase year-end flights, as airlines respond to demand from Asian travellers, he said, although he added that China, with its “zero-COVID” approach remains a wildcard. Before COVID, China accounted for about 20 percent of Singapore’s tourists. “China’s opening strategy is something that we have to observe and China is a significant source for us. I think that is a major uncertainty that we have to watch out for,” Iswaran said in local media reports.
Iswaran added that all aviation companies have been “throwing the kitchen sink at this”, referring to hiring efforts to head off any complications that might arise from a surge in air traffic as has been seen in Europe and the US. He said previously that the sector wanted to hire another 4,000 people by the year end, restoring manpower to 90 percent of 2019 levels. “The recruitment efforts of the companies in the sector are currently on track. Changi has managed the recovery relatively well so far,” Iswaran said in local media reports.