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Singapore Airlines drops mask mandate for cabin crew

You can expect to be welcomed on board your Singapore Airlines flight with beaming smiles again from next week, as mandatory mask-wearing for cabin crew is finally relaxed.

Mask-wearing mandates for passengers on Singapore Airlines flights have been gradually disappearing since the carrier relaxed its mask mandate in line with government advisories back in August 2022, replacing a blanket mask-wearing policy, which had been in effect since June 2020.


While that was great news for passengers flying to and from many cities on the network, unfortunately at the time it meant only around 40% of its flights no longer imposed mandatory mask wearing, due to regulations still being applied by countries outside Singapore.

Luckily that proportion is now 96% of SIA flights, but moreover the airline’s cabin crew and pilots have still been required to wear masks on board all flights under the airline’s own policy, despite legal requirements from CAAS being dropped in late August 2022.

Crew mask-wearing optional from 1st June

Singapore Airlines has confirmed to the Straits Times that its crew will no longer be required to wear masks on mask-optional routes from Thursday 1st June 2023, three years after the restriction was first imposed.

The relaxation will also apply to Scoot cabin crew.

This aligns with many other airlines globally, including regional rival Cathay Pacific, which shifted to a mask-optional approach for crew and all passengers, regardless of route, in March this year.

Most Singapore Airlines routes are mask-optional for passengers, but crew have still been required to wear a face covering under the airline’s policy. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

In a statement to Mainly Miles earlier this month, SIA cited “well-being” and “operational resilience” as the reasons it was maintaining its mask mandate for crew members “for now”.

“SIA and Scoot cabin crew and pilots will continue to wear face masks on board flights for now for their well-being and to support operational resilience.”

SIA Spokesperson
8th May 2023

For us it’s great news that crew will now be given the option whether to wear a mask or not, just as passengers can do so, on the vast majority of flights.

Smiles to welcome you back on board Singapore Airlines flights from 1st June 2023. (Photo: Sorbis / Shutterstock)

Mask mandatory routes

Despite the relaxation, there are still a few routes on the SIA network still requiring mask-wearing by both passengers and crew members, even after 1st June 2023, as outlined below.

Masks required

Masks optional

Singapore Airlines Flights
to/from Singapore
(updated 27th May 2023)

Country Mask Requirement

Flying from Singapore

Flying to Singapore
All other countries

As you can see from the list, there are now only three countries requiring passengers to wear masks on flights, meaning only 70 of SIA’s 1,840 weekly passenger services impose this annoying restriction, which is those on the following routes:

  • Cebu (7/wk)
  • Davao (7/wk)
  • Kathmandu (7/wk)
  • Manila (28/wk)
  • Yangon (7/wk)

In the case of Cebu, Davao and Manila flights there is some reprieve at least – mask-wearing is optional on inbound sectors to Singapore.

Only around 4% of Singapore Airlines flights now require mask-wearing on board, for both crew and passengers. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

The longest Singapore Airlines flights still requiring masks to be worn are:

  • Singapore – Davao – Cebu: 5h 45m
  • Singapore – Kathmandu: 5h 30m
  • Kathmandu – Singapore: 5h 5m
The 5 hour 45 minute journey from Singapore to Cebu via Davao is now the longest on the network with a mask-wearing mandate. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Thankfully the days of enduring mandatory mask-wearing on flights all the way to or from Europe or the USA are now a distant memory, and hopefully will remain so.




It’s great news that some eight months after Singapore relaxed its mask mandate for passengers on flights, SIA and Scoot cabin crew and pilots will finally be able to take advantage from 1st June 2023, deciding for themselves whether they wish to wear a mask on board or not.

While some will inevitably still do so, we believe many will revert to showing off those pre-pandemic smiles at the boarding door and in-flight – a great reminder that travel has indeed returned to normal.

Unfortunately there are still a small number of routes mandating mask-wearing by both crew and passengers, though this now only covers around 4% of SIA services, and will hopefully only be an issue for a few more months at most.

(Cover Photo: Sorbis / Shutterstock)



  1. The ST article suggests that rather than it being a case of mask optional, masks cannot be worn by crew from 1 June to ensure “a consistent and unified approach”.

    1. It will become optional, except on mask-mandatory routes. No crew will be forced to not wear a mask, as SIA has confirmed.

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