As we reported back in November last year, Singapore Airlines’ budget subsidiary Scoot is moving its base of operations from Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 this year. The airline has now confirmed that the shift will happen on 22nd October 2019.
Terminal information for customers arriving and departing on the transition date will be available on the Changi website and mobile app, with customers travelling after the move set to be progressively updated on the new arrangements from the end of this month.
Reduced operations at Terminal 2 over the next five years will allow Changi Airport Group to complete a renovation of the facility, which we believe will involve the SilverKris and KrisFlyer Gold lounges getting a yet-to-be-announced and much-needed facelift.
The Scoot move
From 22nd October 2019 check-in for Scoot flights will move to Terminal 1 at Rows 5 to 7, a large and currently unused zone between Thai Airways at Row 4 and Jetstar at Rows 8 to 9.
Doors 2 or 3 are your perfect drop-off points and entrances for the check-in area.
The check-in desks are also very close to the main entrance for Jewel, directly opposite the T1 departure concourse.
There will be more self-service kiosks and automated bag-drop machines, in line with T1’s new Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) Check-in.
Scoot check-in is available as follows:
- Regular counters: 3 hours until 60 minutes before departure.
- Self-service check-in: 18 hours until 70 minutes before departure.
- Jewel early check-in: 18 hours until 3 hours before departure (available 0600hrs-2359hrs only).
There will be Scoot transfer desks in the transit area at both the C and D gates.
As you would expect, all Scoot arrivals will also be handled at Terminal 1 from 22nd October 2019. You can still exit the transit area via any of the immigration channels at T1/2/3 if you are flying with hand luggage only, as usual.
Currently Scoot passengers who purchase the ‘Scoot-in-Style’ add-on are entitled to access the SATS Premier Lounge in Terminal 2 prior to their flight when departing from Singapore, or transiting Singapore between connecting flights on the same itinerary.
The airline has confirmed that the lounge access contract will remain with SATS, and eligible customers will be instead be directed to the SATS Premier Lounge in Terminal 1 from 22nd October 2019.
After immigration make a left turn then go up the first escalator to the right. You’ll find the SATS lounge located in between the Qantas Singapore Lounge and the British Airways Lounge, on level 3.
The lounge is open 24 hours a day.
Most of our readers have a Priority Pass or similar lounge access membership through their credit cards, so it’s worth mentioning the full list of lounges in Jewel / T1 which are part of these programmes:
- Changi Lounge (Jewel – see our review)
- Dnata Lounge
- Plaza Premium Lounge (see our review)
- SATS Premier Lounge
Unfortunately you won’t be able to access any of the airline-operated lounges in T1 when travelling on a Scoot flight, including the Qantas, British Airways or Thai Airways options.
Terminal 1 capacity
We already mentioned in our article from November last year that while Terminal 1 is certainly running under capacity, especially given recent developments allowing it to accommodate 24 million passengers per year, the overnight addition of all Scoot flights will certainly stretch its capabilities.
We looked at T1’s departures today (Monday 22nd July 2019) and compared them to the scheduled operations on Monday 4th November 2019, once all Scoot flights have moved to Terminal 1, assuming no existing T1 tenants move elsewhere.
|Changi Terminal 1 Departures|
|Hours||22 Jul 19||4 Nov 19||Change|
|00:00 – 01:59||6||11||83%|
|02:00 – 03:59||5||7||40%|
|04:00 – 05:59||2||3||50%|
|06:00 – 07:59||9||19||111%|
|08:00 – 09:59||10||22||120%|
|10:00 – 11:59||8||14||56%|
|12:00 – 13:59||9||13||44%|
|14:00 – 15:59||9||21||133%|
|16:00 – 17:59||9||16||78%|
|18:00 – 19:59||11||17||55%|
|20:00 – 21:59||11||11|
|22:00 – 23:59||9||14||56%|
There are some significant increases here with certain periods of the day seeing more than double the number of departures than currently operate. That would certainly mean some remote bussing operations during peak periods, probably for the likes of Scoot and Jetstar.
We still think some airlines will have to move out of T1 (mostly to T2 and the under-utilised T4), and unless Jetstar moves its 45+ daily flights to T2, which seems unlikely, we came up with the following potential contenders when we first learned of the Scoot move last year:
|Biman Bangladesh Airlines||1|
|Delta Air Lines||1|
|Myanmar Airways International||1|
These airlines would free up over 25 daily departures from T1, and for the most part they are either SkyTeam members, not in an alliance or already in the ‘wrong’ terminal anyway (e.g. Air China and Turkish).
It will be interesting to see what happens because if no one moves out of T1 the stated aim of the move “to facilitate Scoot’s growth in the next few years” doesn’t seem realistic.
Terminal 2 expansion
Since the Terminal 1 renovation, not to mention the opening of Terminal 4, it’s Terminal 2 that is now Changi’s most in need of a ‘refresh’. This work will begin when Scoot flights shift to Terminal 1 in October, reducing the number of departures handled through the facility by almost 40% from around 220 per day to just 140.
T2 upgrading works will take up to five years to complete, and involves section-by-section renovation including:
- A new layout for the check-in hall and immigration area
- 20% more retail and F&B floorspace
- A better view of the runways
Once completed, the project will boost Changi’s annual passenger capacity by a further 5 million to 90 million by 2024.
|Capacity of Changi’s Terminals (2019 – 2024)|
Enhancements in T2 are designed not only for higher capacity but increased passenger convenience, with more automated check-in kiosks, biometric-enabled bag-drops and automated immigration gates.
Many of these features can already be seen at Terminal 4 and Terminal 1.
Singapore Airlines’ T2 lounges
Since Singapore Airlines announced a revamp of its Terminal 3 lounges earlier this month, with work set to run from August 2019 to mid-2021, the focus for many people is when the airline will turn its attention to the same work at its ageing Terminal 2 facilities.
While nothing has been officially announced, the T2 revamp from 2019 to 2024 would be ideal timing for the airline to undertake this work, once the T3 lounge renovation project finishes up in mid-2021.
The lounges certainly can’t remain in their current state for a further 10+ years until Terminal 5 is ready, so coinciding with the back end of the T2 upgrade works looks very likely.
That would put the T2 SilverKris lounges and KrisFlyer Gold lounge revamps somewhere in the late 2021 to 2024 timeframe, so those hoping for a quicker upgrade than that probably shouldn’t hold their breath!
Scoot passengers will be using Changi’s Terminal 1 from 22nd October. Since this is to allow the airline some expansion room, it will mean other airlines having to leave and those haven’t been announced yet. The move will also free up some space for upgrading works in Terminal 2, the most in need of renovation, which will take place over the next five years.
The unfortunate side effect is that the SIA Group’s operations will be spread across three of Changi’s terminals (albeit the ‘connected’ three), which will make some transfers particularly between Scoot and Singapore Airlines / SilkAir codeshare flights less straightforward.
On the plus side Scoot passengers will benefit from direct access to Jewel and a better check-in experience. Terminal 1 has also been renovated more recently than Terminal 2, and in our opinion has better third-party lounges including the Plaza Premium near the C gates.
Meanwhile in Terminal 2 a refresh, modernisation and capacity expansion in our view is also likely to incorporate lounge revamps from Singapore Airlines itself. We think an upgrade of the two SilverKris lounges and the KrisFlyer Gold lounge in this terminal will probably take place between 2021 and 2024.