Operations at one of the world’s busiest airports are being consolidated due to a drop in demand because of travel restrictions designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Terminal 2 at Singapore Changi Airport will close from Friday, May 1, and will remain closed for at least 18 months.
"In view of the steep decline in passenger traffic and the likelihood that air travel demand will not return to pre-Covid-19 levels in the near term, terminal operations at Changi Airport will be consolidated," Changi Airport Group said.
The airport is one of Asia’s busiest passenger transport hubs. Terminal 2 serves flights to destinations across the Middle East, Africa, South-East Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
Flights from Abu Dhabi with Etihad, the national airline of the UAE, typically fly into and depart from Terminal 2.
All flight operations will be consolidated across Changi’s other terminals. Details of which terminal airlines have been relocated to will be announced closer to Friday, May 1.
The decision is a way of cut running costs and to “optimise resources across the airport's terminals to better match the low travel demand”, CAG said.
No entry for transit passengers and visitors
Singapore has put in place precautionary measures to reduce the risk of Covid-19 entering the country. These include strict travel restrictions.
Short-term visitors and transit passengers are not allowed to enter Singapore. Entry is only open to returning residents or those with special permission.
All travellers, including citizens and permanent residents, must submit health declarations and people returning from at-risk destinations need to serve a 14-day isolation period in a government-appointed hotel. All other travellers must self-isolate at home for 14 days.
Airlines also face restrictions on staff, as crew members that are not Singapore citizens or residents can no longer enter or transit through the country.
Reduced services at Terminal 4
Operations at Terminal 4 have also been reduced and could be temporarily suspended if more airlines adjust their schedules.
Changi Airport has a long-standing reputation as being one of the best in the world. Travellers enjoy its butterfly garden, movie theatre and swimming pool, and the airport is also home to the Jewel. Opened in 2019, this nature-themed entertainment and retail complex is home to the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. It remains operational but shops and services in the Jewel are widely restricted.