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Which Singapore Airlines flights still depart from Terminal 1 gates at Changi?

Nearly 1 in 8 of SIA’s T3 flights depart from a T1 gate at Changi Airport, and it’s a situation that’s unlikely to change any time soon.

Here's what you need to know.

If you’re a regular traveller on Singapore Airlines, you’ll probably know that over the last few years the airline has been utilising departure gates at Changi Airport’s Terminal 1, due to a lack of gate availability in Terminal 3, especially during peak departure periods.

While the temporary closure of Terminal 2 during COVID-19 seems like an obvious reason for this – in fact it isn’t actually anything new.


In February 2020, before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and with all terminals at the airport operating normally, Singapore Airlines was already using T1 gates for around seven of its T3 departures each day.

That’s because the airline simply doesn’t fit in Terminal 3 at peak departure times, even with its South East Asia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka services all operating from Terminal 2.

Indeed T3 is the second smallest facility at the airport with just 28 gates, and that’s the same reason Star Alliance carriers like Lufthansa and Swiss can’t all be under one roof with SIA at T3. During the 10pm to midnight departure rush – there simply isn’t space for them.

SIA’s T3 departures don’t all fit at the terminal’s gates during peak periods. (Photo: Alen Thien)

That’s where Terminal 1 comes in, providing overflow gate capacity for SIA during peak timings, a situation now affecting around 10 of the carrier’s departures per day.

We analysed all 3,766 of the airline’s passenger flight departures from Changi Airport over the last four weeks and crunched the data to show you which flights are most commonly assigned T1 gates, plus some other interesting observations along the way.

Singapore Airlines has restored its pre-pandemic destination list from both T2 and T3 at Changi Airport, with the exception of two daily flights to Male in the Maldives, which still depart from T3 (these were T2 flights prior to COVID-19).

Here’s a summary of which flights depart from which terminal.

SIA Departures from Changi Airport
Terminal 2 Terminal 3
  • Bangladesh
  • Brunei 
  • Cambodia 
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • All other destinations
    including Australia, India, Europe, Japan and the USA

Ideally you should check in and clear immigration at the terminal your flight is departing from, however do remember you can actually check in for any Singapore Airlines flight at either T2 or T3 if you wish, regardless of the actual departure terminal.

Check-in rows at the newly refurbished section of Changi Terminal 2’s departure hall. (Photo: Changi Airport Group)

It’s important to note two things from the outset here:

  • If your T3 flight is allocated a T1 departure gate you must still check-in at T3 (or T2 if you wish). SIA does not operate check-in desks in T1.
  • Arriving SIA flights at Changi can use T1, T2 or T3 gates, regardless of their origin country. Immigration and baggage reclaim is via the respective arrival terminal’s facilities, even at T1.

Given the rolling gate shortage issue in T3, you might think that the T1 departure gate issue afflicts SIA flights at all times of day.

Well that’s not the case, because Singapore Airlines has two primary departure ‘banks’ through its Changi Airport hub – one in the morning and one at night – and those are bottlenecks where T1 gates need to be used most often as an overspill for T3.

Singapore Airlines
T1 departure gate usage for T3 flights
24 Jul – 20 Aug 2023

T1 gate
T1 gate
daily average
T1 gate
Peak 1
7am to 12pm
76 3/day 76 / 668
Lull period
12pm to 7pm
19 < 1/day 19 / 393
Peak 2
7pm to 2.30am
187 7/day 187 / 1,214

On average, three departing Singapore Airlines passenger flights each morning and seven departing flights each evening, which are supposed to use T3 gates, actually use a departure gate in T1.

As you can see, there’s a very slim chance that you’ll be assigned a T1 departure gate when departing during Terminal 3’s quietest afternoon period, when ample gates are usually available for SIA.


However, in the peak evening and late night departure bank 1 in 6 T3 flights uses a T1 gate (15.4%), based on analysis over the last four weeks.

The good news if you are affected by the T1 departure gate allocation for your departing T3 SIA flight is that the airline only uses T1’s ‘C gates’ for this purpose.

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX pushing back from gate C11 at Changi Airport Terminal 1, while two of the company’s A350s occupy gates C13 and C15. (Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)

You can access these gates relatively easily by taking the transit T3 > T1 SkyTrain from near gate B5, which drops off near gate C1 in Terminal 1.

Location of ‘C gates’ compared to the T3 lounges and main transit section. (Image: Lufthansa Systems)

Better still, based on our four-week analysis the airline is allocated gate C1, C20 and C22 for over two-thirds of its T1 departures, which are very close to the T3 (B) > T1 (C) transit SkyTrain drop off point.

Here’s how SIA’s T1 gate allocation looked over the four-week period between 24th July and 20th August 2023.

Singapore Airlines
T1 departure gate usage
24 Jul – 20 Aug 2023

Gate Departures As % of T1 gate usage
C1 65 23%
C13 6 2%
C15 7 3%
C20 70 25%
C22 57 20%
C23 31 11%
C24 29 10%
C25 13 5%
C26 4 1%

That said, a small number of flights (17 during the four-week period analysed) departed from gates C25 and C26 – right at the far end of the C gates ‘finger pier’ in T1 and quite a long walk, even from the SkyTrain station near gate C1.

Indeed from the T3 SilverKris lounges to gate C26, Changi Airport quotes a walking time of 28 minutes, though this can be reduced to around 19 minutes by taking the T3 (B) > T1 (C) transit SkyTrain for part of the journey.

The final part of the long walk to gates C25 and C26 at Changi Airport. (Photo: Duc Huy Nguyen / Shutterstock)

Out of 2,275 flights planned to depart from Terminal 3 over the four-week period we analysed, 282 used a Terminal 1 departure gate, which is 12% or 1 in 8 services.

However, that doesn’t mean there’s simply a 12% chance your T3 Singapore Airlines flight will depart from a T1 gate. Due to the peak departure periods mentioned above, some flight numbers are significantly more often affected than others.


Here’s a rundown of the T3 services that have a 25% chance or greater (more than double the average) of being allocated a T1 departure gate.

Singapore Airlines
Most common T1 departure gate flights
24 Jul – 20 Aug 2023

Flight Destination Time T1 gate
SQ842 Chengdu 09:50 2 / 4
SQ336 Paris 00:15 12 / 28
SQ876 Taipei 08:20 12 / 28
SQ608 Seoul 00:10 10 / 28
SQ636 Tokyo Haneda 22:50 10 / 28
SQ656 Fukuoka 01:20 4 / 12
SQ235 Brisbane 21:30 9 / 28
SQ422 Mumbai 07:40 9 / 28
SQ225 Perth 00:05 8 / 28
SQ438 Male 20:35 8 / 28
SQ826 Shanghai 01:15 8 / 28
SQ22 Newark 22:35 7 / 28
SQ223 Perth 09:30 7 / 28
SQ38 Los Angeles 20:45 7 / 28
SQ612 Seoul 02:25 7 / 28
SQ352 Copenhagen 00:05 5 / 20
SQ512 Bengaluru 21:20 3 / 12
SQ672 Nagoya 01:20 3 / 12
SQ302 Manchester 02:25 2 / 8
SQ336 to Paris had a 43% strike rate for a T1 departure gate at Changi over the last four weeks. (Photo: Dubai Airports)

If your T3 flight is departing from T1 (a ‘C gate’) or even from one of the high ‘B gates’ like B9 or B10, it’s worth considering a visit to the Plaza Premium Lounge just above gate C1 as an alternative to the T3 lounges, since it is then a very short walk from lounge to gate, with no further SkyTrain trips involved.

The Plaza Premium Lounge is located above gate C1
Take the escalator near gate C1 up to the Plaza Premium lounge. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

In other recent news, the lounge is also now back on the Priority Pass access list, meaning many of our readers with a Priority Pass membership tied to their credit card can take advantage of complimentary access here.

This facility is one of our favourite third-party options at the airport.

Food options here include signature Singapore Laksa and classic Singapore Chicken Rice.

If the prospect of having to make your way to a T1 departure gate for your Singapore Airlines flight doesn’t appeal to you, there’s some good news.

Some flights never use T1 departure gate, most notably including all Airbus A380 services – which exclusively use T3’s superjumbo-compatible gates:

  • A2
  • A4
  • A5
  • A10
  • A13
  • B2
  • B4
  • B5
  • B7

In the current schedule, SIA Airbus A380 departures comprise:

  • 00:25 – SQ237 to Melbourne
  • 00:45 – SQ231 to Sydney
  • 09:00 – SQ308 to London
  • 09:30 – SQ830 to Shanghai
  • 09:40 – SQ892 to Hong Kong
  • 16:50 – SQ406 to Delhi
  • 20:20 – SQ221 to Sydney
  • 23:30 – SQ322 to London
SIA’s Airbus A380 departures are currently T3-gate-guaranteed at Changi Airport. (Photo: Grirk / Shutterstock)

However, A380 flights aren’t the only T3 departures that don’t ever seem to get shifted to a T1 gate. Based on our four-week analysis, the following services are also apparently 100% immune.

Singapore Airlines
T3 flights that always use T3 gates
24 Jul – 20 Aug 2023

Flight Destination Time
SQ52 Manchester 02:25
SQ330 Frankfurt 02:35
SQ48 Vancouver 07:25
SQ524 Chennai 07:40
SQ251 Darwin 08:30
SQ203 Cairns 08:40
SQ508 Bengaluru 08:50
SQ432 Male 10:05
SQ634 Tokyo Haneda 13:55
SQ606 Seoul 14:40
SQ494 Dubai 15:10
SQ406 Delhi 16:50
SQ534 Cochin 20:00
SQ516 Kolkata 20:20
SQ426 Mumbai 20:40
SQ536 Cochin 22:25
SQ326 Frankfurt 22:55

The fact that these flights never used a T1 departure gate over our four-week analysis period of course doesn’t guarantee they never will in future, but it looks like these ones generally remain in T3.

Over the last four weeks, Singapore Airlines operated 1,491 passenger flight departures from Terminal 2, but a small minority of these – just 10 flights in fact – actually departed from a Terminal 3 gate.

That’s just 0.7%, which is quite negligible and probably happened due to an unforseen gate shortage in T2.

Here are the 10 flights that were affected.

Singapore Airlines
T2 departures using a T3 gate
24 Jul – 20 Aug 2023

Date Flight Number Destination Departure Gate
27 Jul SQ194 Hanoi B7
28 Jul SQ944 Bali A11
30 Jul SQ138 Penang A19
5 Aug SQ138 Penang A20
6 Aug SQ178 Ho Chi Minh A1
12 Aug SQ706 Bangkok B10
13 Aug SQ194 Hanoi A9
14 Aug SQ928 Surabaya A9
14 Aug SQ186 Ho Chi Minh A16
16 Aug SQ194 Hanoi A9

While this is an uncommon occurrence, remember that SIA’s T3 lounges are far superior to the older T2 versions, that only got a minor spruce-up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reception at the newly renovated KrisFlyer Gold Lounge in Changi Airport’s Terminal 3. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

If you’re departing to a T2 destination and notice that your flight will actually use a T3 gate, you’ll probably want to head over to the T3 transit area as soon as possible to make use of the newer lounges, assuming you’re eligible for access.

T3 flights departing from T2 gates was a common occurrence when T2 first reopened in May 2022, but now that the facility has almost all its former gates back in action there is thankfully little need for this.


As such, all Singapore Airlines departures to South East Asia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are processed through the T2’s check-in, departure hall and aircraft gates.

However, over the last four weeks three flights that were supposed to depart from Terminal 3 needed to use a T2 gate instead, as shown below.

Singapore Airlines
T3 departures using a T2 gate
24 Jul – 20 Aug 2023

Date Flight Number Destination Departure Gate
30 Jul SQ442 Kathmandu F37
1 Aug SQ522 Hyderabad F35
18 Aug SQ332 Paris F60

With 2,275 planned T3 departures for Singapore Airlines over this four-week period, the chance of your T3 flight departing from a T2 gate was only 0.1%!

This is hardly worth mentioning, but do be aware if you are very unlucky this situation might affect you, and it’s important to build in additional time to take the SkyTrain from T3 to T2 for boarding.

You could also choose to relocate to the T2 transit area or one of the T2 lounges early, so as not to be rushing at the last minute.

Singapore Airlines flights inbound to Changi Airport can arrive at T1, T2 or T3, regardless of their country of origin.

This is mostly dictated by the next departure service the aircraft will operate.

For example, this morning (25th August 2023) SQ37 from Los Angeles to Singapore landed at 06:46 and arrived into Terminal 2 (gate F41), because the aircraft operating the service (an Airbus A350 Long Haul, 9V-SJG) was then being used to operate SQ106 to Kuala Lumpur at 08:30, which is a T2 departure.

If you’re wondering why this aircraft would go from operating one of the airline’s longest flights to its shortest one – be sure to check out our full guide to the airline’s (highly versatile) Airbus A350 fleet.

The actual arrival terminal for all Singapore Airlines flights heading to Changi Airport is assigned approximately two hours before landing. You can click here to check the flight status, which includes arrival terminal information, or check the Changi app or Changi Airport website flight information page.

During the four-week period from 24th July to 20th August 2023, we analysed arrival terminal information for Singapore Airlines flights and found that 300 services out of 3,765 total arrivals parked at a T1 gate – around 8% or 1 in 12 flights.

Singapore Airlines
Changi Airport arrivals by terminal
24 Jul – 20 Aug 2023

Date Total arrivals As % of all
SIA arrivals
T1 300 8%
T2 1,603 43%
T3 1,862 49%
Total 3,765 100%

However, in common with the pattern we saw for departing flights there are many services that have a much higher chance of arriving into T1 than the 8% network-wide average.

Here’s a rundown of the SIA services that have a 25% chance or greater (more than three times the average) of being allocated a T1 arrival gate.

Singapore Airlines
Most common T1 arrival gate flights
24 Jul – 20 Aug 2023

Flight Destination Time T1 gate
SQ423 Mumbai 07:40 14 / 28
SQ301 Manchester 07:40 3 / 8
SQ216 Perth 06:35 9 / 28
SQ895 Hong Kong 22:40 9 / 28
SQ214 Perth 22:35 8 / 28
SQ23 New York 05:20 8 / 28
SQ33 San Francisco 05:45 8 / 28
SQ825 Shanghai 05:55 8 / 28
SQ185 Ho Chi Minh 22:40 7 / 28
SQ191 Hanoi 17:05 7 / 28
SQ218 Melbourne 05:30 7 / 28
SQ305 London 05:30 7 / 28
SQ37 Los Angeles 07:50 7 / 28
SQ529 Chennai 06:10 7 / 28
SQ183 Ho Chi Minh 06:55 5 / 20
SQ27 Seattle 05:30 3 / 12
SQ387 Barcelona 06:55 2 / 8

Unlike when a Singapore Airlines flight departs from T1, in which case check-in remains at T3, for services allocated a T1 gate on arrival the immigration processing and baggage reclaim is at T1 itself.

That’s an important distinction, especially if you have friends or relatives coming to meet you at the airport.

If you don’t have checked baggage, you can actually proceed for immigration clearance at any terminal, but for those with checked bags it’s essential to “do as you’re told” here and clear via T1 in this example, because the correct baggage reclaim belt is only accessible through that channel.

You’ll recall earlier that we said you’re guaranteed to be departing from a Terminal 3 gate when departing on one of SIA’s Airbus A380 services – which only operate to T3 destinations and never get shunted over to T1.

For arrival into Changi Airport, it’s a different matter.

Many Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 services arrive into Terminal 2, because rather than be immediately used for another flight the aircraft are then towed to a remote parking area for several hours, then towed again to a T3 departure gate for their next service.


This helps Changi Airport optimise its gate allocation at peak times. Here’s how it looked over the four-week period we’ve analysed.

Singapore Airlines
Arrival gates for A380 flights
24 Jul – 20 Aug 2023

Flight Destination Time T2 gate
T3 gate
SQ893 Hong Kong 19:35 5 / 20
15 / 20
SQ228 Melbourne 21:30 4 / 28
24 / 28
SQ833 Shanghai 21:20 3 / 28
25 / 28
SQ222 Sydney 21:20 3 / 28
25 / 28
SQ232 Sydney 17:30 2 / 28
26 / 28
SQ403 Delhi 06:10 0 / 20
20 / 20
SQ317 London 07:30 0 / 28
28 / 28
SQ319 London 16:55 0 / 28
28 / 28

A380 arrivals from Hong Kong and Melbourne are the most likely to arrive in T2 rather than T3 but some A380 flights, including both daily London services, never seem to.

Cross-terminal operation for Singapore Airlines at its main Changi hub, including the use of gates in Terminal 1, isn’t an easy problem to fix until the mid-2030s, when the mammoth Terminal 5 comes into operation.

Changi Airport Terminal 5 will almost double the size of the airport. (Image: Changi Airport Group)

The opening capacity of the facility is slated to be 50 million passengers per year, and with 60 contact gates the entire SIA Group, or all SIA and Star Alliance carriers, should easily be accommodated under one roof.

A future extension to the terminal will hike capacity even further to 70 million passengers, with 20 further gates, so there’s little doubt this will be the carrier’s main hub in future, avoiding cross-terminal operation.

Until then, some expansion of Terminal 2 on its upcoming full reopening may allow SIA to shift more flights across to that facility, but even then it’s unlikely the T1 gate issue can be completely avoided.




Singapore Airlines’ operations at Terminal 3 didn’t quite fit into the facility even before COVID-19, and with borders reopen and travel back to normal that’s still the case today with an average of 10 departing flights to T3 destinations shifted across to Terminal 1’s ‘C gates’.

There’s no quick fix to this issue, short of moving even more flights across to Terminal 2 upon its full reopening later this year.

When Changi’s Terminal 5 comes online in the mid-2030s, with a capacity for 50 million passengers a year and at least 60 contact gates, the entire SIA group could well be accommodated under one roof for the first time in decades.

Until then though, you should probably get used to these T1 gate operations – and build in some extra time to head to the gate especially if you’re in the SilverKris lounges, which are on the ‘wrong’ side of the T3 concourse.

(Cover Photo: Sorbis / Shutterstock)



    1. I can assure you they haven’t.

      4/28 departing flights over 4 weeks to AKL had a T1 gate (14% chance)

      6/28 departing flights over 4 weeks to CHC had a T1 gate (21% chance)

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