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Changi Airport to suspend Terminal 2 operations from 1 May 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic

By Aaron Yip - on 7 Apr 2020, 12:07pm

Changi Airport to consolidate terminal operations from 1 May 2020

ST Photo: Kelvin Chng

The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting all walks of life, and the aviation industry is one of the hardest hit. In view of the steep decline in passenger traffic and the likelihood that air travel demand will not return to pre-Covid-19 levels in the near term, Changi Airport Group (CAG) has announced that terminal operations at Changi Airport will be consolidated.

This move will enable CAG and its airport partners to save on running costs such as utilities and cleaning as well as to optimise resources across the airport’s terminals to better match the low travel demand and airlines’ flight operations.

So from from 1 May 2020, operations at Terminal 2 (T2) will be suspended for 18 months with airlines to be relocated to the remaining terminals (details of which airlines will be announced separately closer to 1 May). The accidental silver lining here is that this suspension of operations will allow for the current T2 expansion works to be accelerated with expected completion, currently scheduled for 2024, brought forward possibly by up to one year. CAG is already in discussion with airport partners and concessionaires in T2 regarding options available to them.

Over at Terminal 4 (T4), which only operate a very small number of flights, operations at the terminal have been scaled down considerably with a small number of aircraft boarding gates kept in use and shops allowed to close early after the last flight for the day. CAG has said that if the remaining airlines at T4 choose to suspend or adjust their flight schedule, the group will also consider suspending operations at T4 temporarily but with the objective of restarting operations quickly when airlines confirm the resumption of flights.


Supporting airport partners

Unsurprisingly, with the dramatic drop in passengers traffic and weakened consumer demand, stores and restaurants at Changi Airport have been significantly impacted. CAG has been in discussion with the concessionaires on assistance measures based on their business circumstance. For instance, CAG has already waived all rentals for businesses operating in T4 for two months from 24 March 2020 given the very low passenger traffic in the terminal.

Mr Tan Lye Teck, CAG’s Executive Vice President of Airport Management, added:

With airlines suspending flights in response to the sharply reduced travel demand, the consolidation efforts seek to help our airport partners during this difficult time. While the scale of our operations will be reduced in the near term, Changi Airport remains open to serve the airfreight and passenger flights that continue to operate. Even as our airport capacity is being optimised for the current situation, we will have the flexibility and we stand ready to ramp up operations quickly once the recovery takes place.

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