Earlier this month Singapore Airlines was granted approval to start flying transit passengers through Changi Airport under a special arrangement overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority. Initially this was permitted on a one-way basis for those originating in one of the airline’s current Australia and New Zealand destinations.
That was quite a limited selection of seven cities, so the actual number of transit passengers passing through the airport so far has been small.
More countries are now approved
Good news is that passengers flying on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir or Scoot originating in the following countries are now also eligible to transit through Changi with immediate effect:
- China (incl. Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan)
- South Korea
That opens up itineraries from the following ten cities to transit through Changi on an SIA group booking:
|Valid Origin Points: SIA Group
(for transit through Changi)
Where can you then fly?
Assuming you’re eligible to book a transit itinerary through Singapore from one of the above origin points, we’ve got a full breakdown of where you can and can’t currently fly with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot.
Check out our latest analysis of passenger routes being operated in June and July 2020 at the following pages:
One option these new additions open up is the opportunity for return routings, which weren’t logical when only Australia and New Zealand were permitted origin points.
“Eligible customers may book a return flight only if both the point of origin and the final destination are in the list of cities approved for transit through Singapore.”
For example it’s now possible for an Australian citizen living in Tokyo to book a trip to Sydney to see family and then return back to Japan with a transit through Changi in both directions, though of course they will still be subject to the appropriate quarantine requirements on arrival in each case.
As before, all sectors must be booked with SIA Group airlines and require passengers to be checked through from their point of origin to their final destination.
If either your origin or destination city is not on the list of approved transit points, a return routing is not possible.
For example Melbourne to Zurich via Singapore is fine, but you cannot then return on such a routing as Zurich is not in one of the approved origin countries.
The transit experience
‘Not as you once knew it’ is the best summary here. If you’re on a connecting flight itinerary through Changi at the moment you’ll have to follow a relatively strict and secluded experience.
Essentially it involves:
- Being provided with a wristband to identify you as a transit passenger.
- Being escorted to a specific transit holding area, with no opportunity to visit any shops, restaurants or lounges.
- Being escorted back to your departure gate around 75 minutes before the departure of your onward flight.
Passengers must remain within the transit holding area for the duration of their connection, though they can order food and drinks to be delivered through an app, and those with PPS Club status or flying in First or Business Class have their own dedicated area with complimentary food and drinks.
See our article for a full rundown on the new transit experience.
Another option available since last week for those with longer connections is a room at the Aerotel Transit Hotel in Terminal 1, though in that case you’ll again have to be escorted to and from the hotel itself and won’t be free to leave your room during your booked time there.
For full updated information on the transit process through Changi Airport, see the airline’s dedicated page here.
This new list of originating countries more than doubles the number of options available previously for originating transit passengers with SIA through Singapore Changi Airport, and is hopefully the start of a progressively wider rollout of approved routings. It will allow passengers to connect to and from a larger range of cities, even including some return routing opportunities.
Earlier today we reported how Changi Airport recorded its lowest passenger numbers ever in May 2020, however we also noted how this should hopefully represent the ‘low point’, with more flights added in June and July.
This increased list of permitted transit routings will assist both SIA and Changi Airport in the weeks and months ahead, and we look forward to it being extended further.
Before COVID-19, around a third of passengers passing through Changi Airport each year were in transit, so this is potentially big business for both SIA and the airport itself.
(Cover Photo: Julian Herzog)