Transit options for those connecting through Changi Airport have remained almost exclusively for SIA Group passengers since authorities granted permission for these itineraries in June 2020.
Despite limited city pairs being eligible for transit routings through the airport in the early days, the list soon grew and options now encompass the majority of SIA’s network.
In November 2020 the first non-SIA Group airline, Jetstar Asia, gained permission to carry transit passengers through Changi between its own flights, currently operating to and from nine major cities in South East Asia.
Lufthansa and Swiss are now approved
This week a new (and almost entirely logical) option was added, with passengers originating in Frankfurt on Lufthansa or Zurich on Swiss International Air Lines also able to connect onto Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flights to any SIA network destination accepting inbound transit passengers.
“SIA [now] has an interline agreement with Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines which allows their customers to transit through Singapore Changi Airport from approved cities to destinations in the SIA Group network currently operated by Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.”Singapore Airlines
Connections onto Scoot services are not supported, as the low-cost division does not have an interline agreement with these European carriers.
For example, it’s now possible to book a flight from Zurich to Auckland flying with Swiss on the first sector and Singapore Airlines on the second.
Note however that the agreement does not work in reverse!
In other words passengers originating in Auckland cannot fly with Singapore Airlines to Changi and then connect onto a Frankfurt-bound Lufthansa flight.
Passengers flying from any airport in Germany or Switzerland and connecting to a Lufthansa or Swiss-operated Singapore-bound flight are permitted to transit twice if necessary (e.g. once in Zurich, then again at Changi), however connections from elsewhere in Europe do not appear to be supported based on our searches.
For example Paris – Zurich – Singapore – Medan won’t work, but the above itinerary starting in Munich will.
Additional transit services
This agreement will allow passengers travelling on one of the following three weekly flights from Europe to continue their journeys through Changi to other parts of the SIA and SilkAir network on one ticket, with a transit.
These services will supplement Singapore Airlines’ own four times weekly flights from Zurich and five times weekly flights from Frankfurt, both rising to daily from mid-January 2021.
Note: Schedules based on January 2021
Swiss flights land at Changi before 6am, allowing passengers to connect onto morning services across the region, while those taking Lufthansa from (or via) Frankfurt can connect onto evening services, or stay overnight at the transit area.
On arrival in Singapore, all transit passengers will be met by airport staff and guided to a Transit Holding Area, or one of two Transit Hotels:
Advance booking of transit hotels is strongly recommended, as there may be no availability for walk-up reservations.
Passengers originating in countries Singapore has unilaterally opened its borders to, including Vietnam, China, Taiwan, New Zealand and most of Australia, are no longer restricted to one of the Transit Holding Areas and can roam the shops and restaurants freely or visit lounges, however this does not currently apply to any passengers originating in Europe.
Transit options through Changi
Here’s a look at the latest lists for SIA Group transit approvals, with cities falling into one of three categories:
- Origin-only cities
- Origin and destination cities
- Destination-only cities
The following eight cities in mainland China and two in Vietnam are approved as origin-only points for transit itineraries through Changi Airport. Both Frankfurt and Zurich are also origin-only, when flying on a connecting interline itinerary with a partner airline.
|Valid Origin-only Cities: SIA Group
(for transit through Changi)
|Ho Chi Minh|
While you can board a flight at any of these cities on a connecting flight to another point on the SIA network, you cannot fly to these airports on a transit itinerary through Changi from another country.
In the case of Frankfurt and Zurich, you can fly to these cities on a transit booking with Singapore Airlines, but not with the partner airlines shown above.
Origin and destination cities
The following 40 cities are currently approved as either origin or destination points for transit itineraries through Changi Airport.
|Valid Origin & Destination Cities: SIA Group
(for transit through Changi)
|Brunei||Bandar Seri Begawan|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
* Not yet listed by SIA, but transit bookings are being accepted for itineraries originating in these cities
For example it is possible to fly from Sydney to Tokyo (via Singapore) or from Tokyo to Sydney (via Singapore), as both of these cities are approved as both origin and destination points for transit itineraries through Changi Airport.
The following seven cities are approved only as final destination points for transit itineraries through Changi Airport.
|Valid Destination-only Cities: SIA Group
(for transit through Changi)
* London is not a valid origin point for transit passengers with effect from 23 December 2020 until further notice
You cannot start your journey at any of these airports and transit through Changi.
For example, it is possible to fly from Paris to Manila with a transit in Changi, but not from Manila to Paris, as Manila is a destination-only city, you cannot originate there on a connecting itinerary. Paris, however, is a valid origin point.
Jetstar transit options
Jetstar Asia is now offering transit options through Changi Airport between its limited network of regional cities.
Origin and destination cities:
- Ho Chi Minh City
- Kuala Lumpur
- Phnom Penh
For valid origin cities, these must represent your original point of departure. The exceptions are if your first point of departure is from a domestic destination, or if you are departing from a country in the Schengen area to connect to a SIA flight that is departing from another Schengen country.
For example, you can take a domestic flight from Wellington to Auckland before taking an SIA flight with a valid connecting itinerary through Changi, like Auckland – Singapore – Paris.
Those taking Lufthansa or Swiss flights to Changi in advance of their connecting SIA or SilkAir flight to their final destination can only originate from within Germany or Switzerland.
It’s taken a while, but it’s nice to see the logical inclusion of some interline transit passenger approval onto the SIA network at Changi with inbound passengers flying on Lufthansa or Swiss now eligible to tap into the expanding Singapore Airlines and SilkAir networks.
This development will hopefully pave the way for more connectivity from partner airlines through SIA’s hub in the months ahead. Perhaps we will start to see carriers like ANA, Asiana and EVA Air being permitted to carry transit passengers onto the SIA network, further helping the airline and Changi build its numbers while most border restrictions remain in place.
Meanwhile there continue to be a wide range of transit opportunities within the SIA Group and between Jetstar flights, subject to a handful of slightly complex routing rules for some cities on the network.
(Cover Photo: Suparat Chairatprasert / Shutterstock)