Back in early November we reported on the ‘final verdict’ in the long-running saga between Changi Airport Group (CAG) and the Jetstar Group over a proposed move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 4, with the two sides reaching an agreement for the carrier’s Singapore-based Jetstar Asia (3K) division to move its operations to the reopened terminal by 25th March 2023 at the latest.
CAG has now announced that Jetstar’s move will happen on 22nd March 2023, three days ahead of the agreed deadline.
Jetstar Australia (JQ) flights were not affected by the previous announcement, while the carrier took time to reach a final decision on its own operations out of Changi, however we now have confirmation that the Melbourne-based sister airline will also relocate to T4 on the same day.
This will retain all Jetstar Group operations under one roof at Changi, despite physical separation from parent company Qantas and other codeshare and interline partners.
Both Jetstar carriers will move to T4 on 22nd March
Jetstar Australia (JQ) has confirmed that its flights will also operate from Terminal 4 alongside those of its Singapore cousin Jetstar Asia (3K), with the two carriers moving across in tandem on 22nd March 2023.
This will allow for seamless connections within the Jetstar brand at the same terminal, for passengers connecting between the two carriers, for example those flying from Melbourne to Singapore (JQ) then connecting on to Phuket (3K).
The move comes three days ahead of the start of the IATA Northern Winter 2023 schedule season, with CAG no doubt keen to have all airlines operating from their most efficient locations by then, in view of capacity constraints during the continued renovation of Terminal 2, which has only partially reopened.
Jetstar was first set to move to Changi T4 on 25th October 2022, but a ‘war of words’ broke out between the two sides, with the Qantas Group airline swiftly rebuking CAG’s plan, calling the decision “unilateral” and saying it had “no intention” of relocating.
The airline won the battle, remaining in T1 over the winter season, but ultimately lost the war.
In early November 2022, the two sides came to an amicable agreement on the terms of the relocation to T4, in a show of much closer unity than was evident when CAG first announced the move, back in July 2022, but this has delayed CAG’s plans to free up a large chunk of T1 capacity by around five months.
Indeed we have noted that several narrow-body flights departing from T1 lately are using remote ‘bus’ bays, not airbridge contact gates, including many Jetstar and Scoot services.
CAG has confirmed that the first Jetstar passenger services to operate at Changi T4 will be:
Jetstar Asia (3K)
- Arriving passengers on 3K766 from Manila at 0.40am on Wednesday 22nd March 2023
(and all 3K arrivals in Singapore thereafter)
- Departing passengers on 3K761 to Manila at 6.15am on Wednesday 22nd March 2023
(and all 3K departures from Singapore thereafter)
Jetstar Australia (JQ)
- Departing passengers on JQ8 to Melbourne at 10.10pm on Wednesday 22nd March 2023
(and all JQ departures from Singapore thereafter)
- Arriving passengers on JQ7 from Melbourne at 8.10pm on Thursday 23rd March 2023
(and all JQ arrivals in Singapore thereafter)
Apart from non-stop Boeing 787 Melbourne services, Jetstar Australia also operated daily services from Singapore to Perth via Bali using Airbus A320s before COVID-19, with “fifth freedom” traffic rights between Singapore and Bali included, however these flights have not yet been reinstated.
It’s bad news for lounge access
One of the major downsides for Jetstar moving to T4 is lounge access for Qantas frequent flyers, and those connecting from Qantas and some other partner flights in Business or First Class, who currently enjoy access to one of the airline’s two lounges in T1 before their Jetstar flight.
This will become a more complicated affair once the carrier moves to T4 in March 2023.
Those travelling on point-to-point Jetstar services with sufficient Qantas Frequent Flyer status will have to take an airside shuttle bus to T1 after clearing T4 immigration in order to use the Qantas T1 lounges (buses run every 10-13 minutes).
This will drop them at Gate C21, where they will have to return after their lounge visit in sufficient time to make it back to T4 for their Jetstar flight.
All in all, that may simply be more hassle than it’s worth.
Those with sufficient status connecting from partner flights arriving in T1, but later departing on Jetstar Asia from T4 (e.g. BA Business Class passengers or Qantas Golds / Platinums) will also have to build in a decent amount of time to head to T4 for boarding.
This could cut down their lounge time significantly, while for the shortest connections – it simply won’t be possible to snag any lounge time.
The T4 Blossom Lounge will be available
Thankfully there will be some ‘lounge reprieve’ for those departing on Jetstar Asia flights from T4, in the form of the third-party Blossom Lounge, which reopened on 13th September 2022.
This will allow access to those with several lounge memberships, including Priority Pass, to have some pre-flight respite from the terminal, though we don’t expect Jetstar to offer gratis entry to Qantas Frequent Flyer members, since this would no doubt prove too expensive.
About Terminal 4
T4 is Changi’s newest Terminal, first opened in October 2017 with 21 contact gates, 17 of which accommodate only narrow-body aircraft, with four more that can also accept wide-body jets (like Jetstar’s Boeing 787s).
The terminal, Changi’s smallest, has a capacity to accommodate 16 million passengers per year.
Retail and food outlets include Andes by Astons and a Food Emporium in the Public area, while TWG, Mont Blanc, Lotte Duty Free and an International Food Hall are part of the Transit area selection.
What about connectivity?
If you ever flew to or from Changi T4 prior to its closure, you’ll no doubt remember one relative uniqueness about it compared to the other terminals – it’s not physically connected to them!
T4 is connected to T1, T2 and T3 by free shuttle bus services at both the airside and landside. CAG is keen to point out that this will make it easy for Jetstar customers with non-group connections, like those heading to or from Emirates, Qantas or Finnair flights, to do so “seamlessly”.
At the transit side, shuttle buses currently run between T4 and T1/T3 every 10-13 minutes, 24 hours per day, which should allow most Jetstar customers with a connection to do so by factoring in an additional 30 minutes compared to a current T1-T1 connection.
We expect the airline will only sell transits that require a terminal change with a 90-minute minimum connection time from the northern summer season (instead of 60 minutes currently) to account for this, and some flights with high volumes of connecting passengers may even be re-timed to ensure transit traffic is not lost.
Public transport options at T4 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.
Full details about transferring between Changi terminals, including to and from T4, are available here.
Changi Airport’s latest T4 airline list
Given this confirmation that Jetstar Asia (3K) and Jetstar Australia (JQ) flights will relocate to Changi T4 on 22nd March next year, here’s a reminder of all the operators at the terminal, including when they moved to the reopened facility post-COVID.
Changi T4 Airlines
(AK, FD, QZ, Z2)
Based on flight schedules currently loaded for April 2023, the two Jetstar airlines will operate around 210 weekly services to and from Terminal 4, out of around 1,100 flights among all carriers based at the terminal.
Jetstar Asia (3K) will become the only Singapore-based airline operating from T4 at Changi, with Scoot (TR) remaining at T1 and Singapore Airlines (SQ) operating from both T2 and T3 (with some SQ arrivals also processed at T1).
As you can see from the table above, the reopening of Terminal 4 has most significantly relieved the pressure on Terminal 1 at Changi, with Jetstar’s move allowing further capacity assistance to CAG at that facility from late March next year (albeit five months later than intended).
22nd March 2023 has been set as D-day for Jetstar Asia’s move from its Terminal 1 home of 18 years across to Changi’s newest facility – Terminal 4 – with confirmation that sister airline Jetstar Australia will also relocate on the same day.
This will assist the airport operator with gate capacity “especially during the early morning peak period” from the start of the northern summer season, when airlines re-jig their timetables.
The move will be bad news for connecting passengers between Jetstar Asia and a host of codeshare and interline partners, most of which use T1 at Changi, who will have a more complex transit journey.
On the plus side, it’s good news for 3K-JQ and JQ-3K connections, which will remain relatively seamless, since the two carriers will both operate at T4 right from the same day.
What do you think about Jetstar’s move to T4? Let us know in the comments section below.
(Cover Photo: Pascal Renet)