Changi Closes Terminal 2 To Consolidate Operations

The now empty Terminal 3 at Singapore's Changi Airport will be one of the two terminals used for any Terminal 2 flights following its closure.
Credit: Chen Chuanren

SINGAPORE—Changi Airport Group (CAG) is taking advantage of the dramatic slowdown in air travel demand to bring forward infrastructure upgrades at Changi Airport (SIN), suspending operations at Terminal 2 (T2) for 18 months from May 1.

Meanwhile, with only a handful of flights left at the Singapore hub’s Terminal 4 because of the COVID-19 crisis, CAG will consider temporarily closing the new terminal should the airlines there choose to suspend flight operations or adjust their schedules. 

CAG said closing Terminal 2 will enable it and its partners to save on running costs and optimize resources across the airport to adapt to the lower travel demand and airlines’ reduced flight operations. 

The Terminal 2 expansion project is slated to complete in 2024, but the closure of the terminal now allows the project completion to be brought forward by up to a year. Most if not all of the carriers that use Terminal 2—including Etihad, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines and United Airlines—have already stopped service to Singapore. 

The consolidation means that Terminal 2 flights will operate from Terminal 1 or Terminal 3 instead. Terminal 1 was expanded in early 2019 to handle three million more passengers annually. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen passenger volumes at Changi nosedive by at least 90%. CAG has waived rentals for tenants at Terminal 4 for two months due to the very low traffic there. Aviation Daily made a trip to Changi on April 6 and saw very few passengers at the terminals; there were more airport and support staff than travelers.

“While the scale of our operations will be reduced in the near term, Changi Airport remains open to serve the airfreight and passenger flights that continue to operate,” CAG executive VP of airport management Tan Lye Teck said. “Even as our airport capacity is being optimized for the current situation, we will have the flexibility and we stand ready to ramp up operations quickly once the recovery takes place.”

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.