Singapore’s Changi Airport reopens T2 amid strong demand

This Singapore Airlines A350-941, 9V-SHT, was shot by Victor Pody

Singapore Changi Airport announced it will reopen its Terminal 2 after over two years of closures due to the pandemic, ahead of an expected rise of international travellers in the coming months.

In a statement released on Sunday, Changi Group said T2 will resume operations on 29 May 2022. It was first closed in May 2020, originally set for just an 18-month pause over a decline in passenger travel.

Singapore is a major travel market for Australians, and is an important gateway for other nations including Indonesia, India and Malaysia. The reopening of the terminal marks a major win for the nation’s aviation market amid the ongoing post-pandemic recovery.

“CAG is encouraged to see the strong pick-up in travel demand and has worked closely with our partners to bring forward the progressive reopening of T2 ahead of the June travel peak to meet this demand,” said Tan Lye Teck, CAG’s executive vice president of airport management.

“The start of flight operations at T2 will provide more capacity to support our airline partners, who are also gearing up to serve more passengers in the months ahead.”

Over the next two years, the terminal will continue its expansion plans, and when completed by 2024, its capacity will rise from five million to 28 million passengers per year, according to the airport.

In late November, Australia welcomed back fully vaccinated Singaporean travellers into the country, which was followed by Singapore opening to international countries a month later in December.

While the resumption of travel between countries has had a tumultuous start due to the Omicron variant and the Ukraine-Russia crisis which has skyrocketed jet fuel prices, demand for travel to Australia from Singapore remains strong.

Singapore Airlines regional boss Louis Arul said demand for flights to and from Australia is extremely high, despite the rise in flight fares put in place to mitigate increased jet fuel prices.

“Compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, what we see now is both inbound and outbound travel are moving quite well and close to pre-COVID-19 levels. They haven’t quite got there yet,” he said in an interview with The Australian Financial Review.

According to the International Air Transport Association, which uses data from energy provider Platts, the average price per fuel barrel is currently US$135.1, as of the latest data from 13 May.

Although he couldn’t say how much prices were increasing, the carrier’s fuel hedging strategy would “dampen” the impact on customers.

“Australia’s always been an important market for Singapore Airlines, and it will continue to be. We are the largest operator to Australia in the world at the moment, and even before the pandemic, and want to continue that.”

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