As we reported back in July, Singapore Changi Airport will reopen its newest passenger facility Terminal 4 on 13th September, thanks to a resurgence in travel following a relaxation of border restrictions in Singapore and around the region.
Last week we had confirmation that the Blossom Lounge in the terminal would be reopening on the same date, accommodating Business Class passengers and status holders departing with full-service carriers like Vietnam Airlines, while also offering a Priority Pass or pay-per-use option for other travellers.
We now have further details of the initial T4 flights and reopening of selected retail outlets, while CAG and Jetstar remain locked in discussions about the carrier’s contentious move originally slated for late October.
Which airlines are moving to T4?
A total of 16 airlines will progressively move to Terminal 4 from 13th September onwards, as shown in the following table.
Airlines moving to Changi T4
(AK, FD, QZ, Z2)
|To be confirmed
(was 25 October)
As you can see, practically all former T4 operators are making their way back to the terminal in September, with the addition of Bamboo Airways and HK Express, who started operating at Changi since T4’s temporary closure in May 2020.
The reopening will largely take the pressure off Terminal 1, which is becoming very busy during peak periods.
Terminal 4 will reopen with a limited selection of retail outlets initially, though the airport has promised this will increase over time, saying “more shops will be opening progressively in the coming months”.
Here’s the full list of openings planned from 13th September 2022.
Public Area (check-in hall)
- Andes by Aston
- Bakery Cuisine
- Changi Recommends
- Food Emporium (selected stalls)
- Ma Mum
- O’Coffee Club Xpress
Transit Area (after security)
- Charles & Keith
- Coach & Furla
- Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
- International Food Hall
- Gassan Watches
- Lotte Duty Free
- Mont Blanc
- Sunglass Hut
- The Cocoa Trees
- Tiger’s Den
- Trunk & Co.
- Lotte Duty Free
- The Shilla Duty Free
The Blossom Lounge is back
As we revealed last week, the third-party Blossom Lounge in T4 will be reopening in tandem with T4’s relaunch on 13th September 2022.
The Blossom Lounge first opened along with T4 itself in October 2017, and offers a generous 1,100 sq m of floorspace, with seating capacity for 280 guests.
The lounge is located on the mezzanine level above the main departures concourse, after immigration and security, and we’ve got a review from our visit shortly after it first opened in late 2017.
The lounge is spacious, modern and has a decent food and beverage selection, though some premium pours and barista coffees were offered at an additional charge, prior to its temporary closure.
Shower facilities are also available, but with only two private shower rooms available usage is limited to 20 minutes, to allow as many passengers as possible a chance to benefit.
Prior to COVID-19, the Blossom Lounge was open 24 hours a day during the summer season (April to October), but it did have variable hours in the winter season (November to March), to align with T4’s flight schedules.
We are still awaiting confirmation of the reopening lounge hours from 13th September at the time of writing, but we expect the facility will cater for most (if not all) scheduled T4 departures.
What about the Cathay Pacific lounge?
Terminal 4 is home to two lounges, the Blossom Lounge and the Cathay Pacific Lounge.
Unfortunately, Cathay Pacific is currently running a skeleton schedule of just three weekly departures from Singapore to Hong Kong, a far cry from its pre-COVID tally of 63 weekly flights to both Hong Kong and Bangkok.
At the time of writing, an increase to four flights per week is proposed from October 2022, progressively increasing to seven times weekly by the end of 2022, as Hong Kong slowly relaxes its travel restrictions.
Even these increased schedules are unlikely to warrant the reopening of Cathay’s own dedicated lounge, especially considering that no other oneworld carriers will fly from T4.
We contacted the airline to clarify their intentions for lounge-worthy passengers departing from Singapore after the move to T4 next month, and received the following response.
Cathay Pacific has promised to update us once a decision has been made, and of course we’ll then update this article accordingly.
We suspect those departing with Cathay in First or Business Class, plus oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status holders departing in any cabin class with the carrier, will be invited to the Blossom Lounge while its own facility remains shuttered.
Cathay Pacific is currently using the Plaza Premium Lounge at Changi T1.
Which flights will be first?
The first flight to arrive at Terminal 4 on 13th September 2022 will be Cathay Pacific CX739 from Hong Hong, with a scheduled arrival time of 3.05pm.
On the departures side, passengers will start checking in at 2pm on 13th September for the departure of the return service CX716 to Hong Kong at 6pm.
Do note that if you’re travelling on Korean Air flight KE646 to Seoul in the early hours of 13th September at 1.10am, this flight will still depart from Terminal 1, despite the carrier’s move to T4 later that day.
The first Korean Air flights to operate at T4 on 13th September will be:
- Arrival: KE643 at 7.55pm
- Departure: KE644 at 10.35pm
T1 and T3 will be linked to T4
Exact details of T4’s airside connectivity to and from other terminals have not been released, but CAG has confirmed that both T1 and T3 will benefit from dedicated airside and landside bus connections.
At the airside (transit area), at least one service will take the form of a T4 <> T1 shuttle, which looks set to operate to and from Gate C21, based on our recent trip in August.
We assume there will also be a dedicated T3 link, and it’s nice to see the frequency of the airside shuttles will be hiked to every 10 to 13 minutes (pre-COVID, T4 was linked to T2 at the airside only once every 24 minutes).
At the landside (public area), T4 will be connected via dedicated shuttle buses to T1 and T3 every 6-9 minutes between 6am and midnight.
This will be replaced by a loop service between T4, T3, and T1 on a reduced frequency during the midnight to 6am period, with no specific timing intervals quoted.
Other public transport options at T4 will of course include taxis, private-hire vehicles and the following public bus services:
Those connecting between the MRT and Terminal 4 should take the landside bus transfer to or from Terminal 3.
Will Jetstar actually move to T4 in October?
One thing that’s still unclear is whether Jetstar will move across to Terminal 4, from its longstanding T1 home, where it benefits from connectivity with Qantas, Emirates and a host of (predominantly oneworld or T1-based) codeshare and interline partners.
A war of words broke out between to two sides late last month, when Changi Airport Group announced that the Jetstar carriers would be moving to T4 from 25th October 2022, but within an hour the Qantas Group airline swiftly rebuked the plan, saying it had “no intention” of doing so.
CAG stood firm, saying its discussions regarding the move for Jetstar dated back to 2019, before the pandemic, and that the carrier’s relocation was “the only option” to allow the airport to optimise use of its gates.
Since then, however, it’s all gone rather quiet.
Interestingly, CAG no longer even mentions Jetstar’s move to T4 in its latest update, instead only referring to airlines that are moving across in September. However, Singapore Minister for Transport S Iswaran did mention today that the two sides remain “in discussions” over the issue.
Jetstar (JQ) and Jetstar Asia (3K) still lists its Singapore flights as operating from Terminal 1 in reservation systems, even after 25th October 2022, and the airline has not amended its Minimum Connection Time (MCT) with partners like Qantas.
The standard MCT for T1 to T4 transfers is published as 1 hour 30 minutes, but the two carriers are not respecting this, even after 25th October.
It certainly seems like Jetstar is sticking by its “no intention to move” stance at this stage, so it will be interesting to see if they actually end up in T4 come late October.
Stay tuned for the latest on this little drama!
Terminal 4 will reopen to passengers on the afternoon of 13th September, with a limited selection of retail outlets available, that will hopefully grow in the weeks and months ahead.
Passengers will have a lounge option with the Blossom facility reopening, as we already knew, while transit links at both the landside and airside to the other terminals look set to become well established (though still thoroughly inconvenient, in our opinion).
One interesting question mark still surrounds whether Jetstar will move to T4, a condition the carrier said CAG unilaterally imposed on it, given its high reliance on connectivity with other carriers, mostly operating in T1.
Hopefully more to come on that story in the weeks ahead.
(Cover Photo: SAA Architects)