News Scoot Singapore Airlines

Scoot is moving to Changi T1 on 22 October, as T2 expansion gets underway

Scoot's move to Changi T1 in October 2019 will allow T2 to be upgraded, hopefully including a long-awaited SilverKris lounge revamp

Scoot 787.jpg

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.

TR T1 Map.jpg
Scoot check-in at Terminal 1 from 22nd October 2019

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.

Scoot lounge

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.

IG-SATST1.jpg
SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 1

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.

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SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 1 location

The lounge is open 24 hours a day.

Other lounges

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:

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The Plaza Premium lounge is our favourite third-party option in T1. If you have a Priority Pass or similar and are departing from a C gate it’s a great choice.

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 increase.png 83%
02:00 – 03:59 5 7 increase.png 40%
04:00 – 05:59 2 3 increase.png 50%
06:00 – 07:59 9 19 increase.png 111%
08:00 – 09:59 10 22 increase.png 120%
10:00 – 11:59 8 14 increase.png 56%
12:00 – 13:59 9 13 increase.png 44%
14:00 – 15:59 9 21 increase.png 133%
16:00 – 17:59 9 16 increase.png 78%
18:00 – 19:59 11 17 increase.png 55%
20:00 – 21:59 11 11 nochange.png
22:00 – 23:59 9 14 increase.png 56%
Total 98 168 increase.png 71%

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:

Airline Daily departures
Air_China.png Air China 4
Air_France.png Air France 1
Bangkok_Airways.png Bangkok Airways 2
Biman_Bangladesh_Airlines.png Biman Bangladesh Airlines 1
China_Southern_Airlines.png China Southern 4
Delta_Airlines Delta Air Lines 1
KLM.png KLM 2
Myanmar_Airways_International.png Myanmar Airways International 1
Philippines_Airlines.png Philippine Airlines 4
Shenzhen_Airlines.png Shenzhen Airlines 2
Turkish_Airlines.png Turkish Airlines 1
Xiamen_Airlines.png Xiamen Air 4

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)
Terminal Capacity
2019
Capacity
2024
T1 24m 24m
T2 23m 28m
T3 22m 22m
T4 16m 16m
Total 85m 90m

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.

Seats 1.jpg
SIA’s Changi T2 lounges will likely be upgraded by 2024, but a confirmed plan has yet to be announced. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

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!

Summary

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.

Scoot 787 Gate.jpg
Scoot to other SIA Group connections from distant T1 gates won’t be so simple

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.

4 comments

  1. Speaking of airline moves, I predict that some Terminal 3 airlines apart from Singapore Airlines might be affected as well. Take Oneworld carrier SriLankan Airlines as an example. I think it would be beneficial if they shifted their operations too. If it shifts its operations back to Terminal 1 (like what Qatar Airways did last October), they will be able to have easier connections with most other Oneworld partners (i.e. British Airways, Qantas), and with Cathay Pacific if it shifts to the under-utilised Terminal 4, which could provide Oneworld flyers even greater benefit.

  2. Looks like some Jetstar flights are landing in T2.

    From 5 November 2019, a limited number of Jetstar Asia flights will arrive into Terminal 2 of Singapore Changi Airport. All check-in and departures for Jetstar Asia will remain in Terminal 1.

    For up-to-date information, please refer to the flight information displays at the airport.

    Passengers transiting through Changi Airport can hop on the complimentary Skytrain to move between Terminals 1,2 and 3 or ride the complimentary shuttle service for transfers to Terminal 4.

  3. I recently arrived in Changi Airport T1 at about 5 pm on Sunday (10 Nov) and it is very clear that T1 is unable to handle capacity at peak hours once Scoot flights started to kick in. This is shown by:

    1) There were so many people within the restricted area waiting for flights/arriving

    2) They had to even move departing flights from Scoot and Jetstar to T2 since there weren’t enough gates, and many flights had their gates changed as well.

    (If you’re interested in the stats: There were 21 flights departing from 17:30 to 19:30 from T1 on 10 Nov, and 4 of them (nearly 20%) had to use T2 gates – sometimes as far as even E24 – while 8 of them (nearly 40%) had their gates reassigned)

    3) They had to direct people to use the D gates side of T1 immigration as the C gates side was too crowded – and because of this a lot of foreigners (mostly ang mohs from Europe) were confused as they were worried they won’t be able to get their baggage if they used another immigration gate. (We know it’s not the case, but they may have never used Changi before)

    4) The taxi queues in JEWEL are so long that all queues stretched out of the designed space despite having all 4 queues activated (which I saw for the 1st time) – it was so bad that I eventually went to T2 just to get my taxi home.

    (PS: I can send pics as evidence of the above should you need it, except 4))

    This, of course is caused by the huge influx of Scoot and Jetstar flights. Out of the 27 flights that arrived/are arriving in T1 from 17:00 to 19:00 on that day, 21 of them are Scoot/Jetstar flights (78%) and out of the 21 flights scheduled to depart from T1 from 17:30 to 19:30, 15 of them are Scoot/Jetstar flights (71%).

    I think to resolve this issue is to make better use of T4, and shift some airlines around along with it, perhaps after the Christmas-New Year peak season in January, or even better within this month so the airport doesn’t get overwhelmed come December.

    My proposal is: Since 6 out of the 14 airlines that currently operate from T4 are LCCs already, T4 should be made the de-facto budget terminal again (as it originally was before it got torn down to make way for T4) by moving more minor budget airlines there – the biggest candidates here being Indigo from T2 and Lion Air group (Lion Air, Malindo and Thai Lion Air) from T3.

    From the empty space created, the smaller airlines from T1 can be moved from T2 and T3 along with other rearrangements – and this can be used as an opportunity to better align the airlines in Changi by alliance – for example, Air France, KLM and Xiamen Airlines can be moved to T3 to solidify T3 as the base for most Skyteam members in Singapore, with the likes of Turkish Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and Air China moved to T2 to solidify T2 as the base for most Star Alliance members – and at the same time, Malaysia Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines can be returned back to T1 to make T1 the definitive hub for Oneworld, which I believe should be welcomed by their passengers. In fact, this may be a good opportunity to move back Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines from T4 to T3 as they have lost out the most due to the move to T4. (Cathay ideally should move also, but they made a lounge there already so I don’t think they would be so willing to come back to T1)

    The biggest benefit of this arrangement, is that it should help free up some valuable space in the overly crowded evening period in T1, considering that many of the European flights in T1 arrive in the evening while few flights depart from T2 and T3 at the same time period (14 in T2, 9 in T2) – and I expect the same in the morning slot.

    The downside of this move, however is that these European carriers like to depart from Changi at night, so moving too many of them to T3 will cause huge congestion in T3 instead since SQ has many medium/long-haul flights leaving in the same time slot too, with 10 flights departing in a span of only 35 minutes (23:35 to 00:10) with gates as far as C23 being assigned in this time – and Thai Airways will become isolated with no Star Alliance partners left there.

    Although the situation on Nov 10 might have been a particularly bad one since Arashi just had a short fan meet in Jewel a few hours before, I think it’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Let’s see what CAG does…

    1. Er, ideally, before the opening of Terminal 4, Korean Air operated out of Terminal 2 while Vietnam Airlines operated out of Terminal 3. With SriLankan Airlines being a Oneworld member, it would be more prudent if it were to shift its operations back to Terminal 1 to ease connections with other Oneworld partners, or to Terminal 4 to increase its operation capacity and to ease connections with fellow Oneworld partner Cathay Pacific. We dunno yet, but we shall keep our eyes open.

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