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Singapore’s Changi Airport Gears Up for Travel Revival

Like the travel industry as a whole, Changi was hit hard by the pandemic, with passenger volume dropping to as low as 1.5% of its usual numbers

People pass the control tower of Singapore's Changi Airport
Concerns have also been on the rise following Xi Jinping's recent commitment to ‘regulate wealth’ in China. Photo: Reuters


Singapore’s Changi airport is gearing up to receive more passengers as the city-state eases travel and Covid-19 restrictions, amid hopes it will see a return to pre-pandemic levels of traffic.

With nearly 7,500 flights a week in March, 2019 and 68 million passengers in that year, Changi was one of the world’s busiest airports before the pandemic, and has been named the world’s best airport at least eight times, according to Skytrax.

But like the travel industry as a whole, Changi was hit hard by the pandemic, with passenger volume dropping to as low as 1.5% of its usual numbers.

Singapore had tight border controls in place for much of 2020 and 2021. Last week it announced it was dropping quarantine and a Covid-19 travel pass requirement for fully vaccinated travellers from April 1.

The Southeast Asian city-state of 5.5 million aims to recover air passenger volume to half of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, the government has said.

That includes easing strict rules on movement within the airport and allowing travellers to use the terminals’ facilities, services, shops and restaurants.

The government has also committed S$500 million ($369.66 million) to support aviation companies and workers in the coming financial year as air travel picks up, transport minister said previously.

Minister of Transport, S Iswaran said on Wednesday the aviation industry is looking to recruit more workers. “The excitement and the optimism is palpable,” he said. “Because I think they all want to see Changi (airport) buzzing again.”

Separately, the General Court of the European Union (GCEU) dismissed an application for annulment brought by Singapore Airlines over a European Commission decision finding that it had participated in a cartel relating to fuel and security surcharges.

“Singapore advanced five pleas in support of its claim for annulment, alleging numerous errors of law and fact … but the GCEU has rejected all of them,” said Christopher Brown of Matrix Chambers, which represented the commission.

The court also upheld the fine of 74.8 million euros imposed on Singapore Airlines.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell




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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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