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.
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”.
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.
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.
Singapore Airlines Flights
(updated 27th May 2023)
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.
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
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)