Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Singapore readies Changi airport as travel curbs ease

The Southeast Asian country of 5.5 million aims to recover air passenger volume to half of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, the government has said.

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Singapore’s Changi airport is gearing up to receive more passengers as the city-state eases travel and other Covid-19 restrictions, amid it hopes will see a return to pre-pandemic levels of traffic.

With nearly 7,500 flights a week in March, 2019 and 68 million passengers in that year, Changi was one of the world’s busiest airports before the pandemic, and has been named the world’s best airport at least eight times, according to Skytrax, an airport review agency.

But like the travel industry as a whole, Changi was hit hard by the pandemic, with passenger volume dropping to as low as 1.5% of its usual numbers.

Singapore had tight border controls in place for much of 2020 and 2021. Last week it announced it was dropping quarantine and a Covid travel pass requirement for fully vaccinated travellers from April 1.

The Southeast Asian country of 5.5 million aims to recover air passenger volume to half of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, the government has said.

That includes easing strict rules on movement within the airport and allowing travellers to use the terminals’ facilities, services, shops and restaurants.

The government has also committed S$500 million (US$369.66 million) to support aviation companies and workers in the coming financial year as air travel picks up, transport minister said previously.

Transport Minister S Iswaran said on Wednesday the aviation industry is looking to recruit more workers.

“…The excitement and the optimism is palpable,” he said. “Because I think they all want to see Changi (airport) buzzing again.”

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