How Singapore Changi avoided chaos after the resumption of passengers

  • Jewel Changi Airport

    Singapore Changi Airport

    IATA/ICAO code:


    General Director:
    Lee Sow Hiang

    Number of passengers:
    3,053,000 (2021)

    02L/20R – 4000 m (13123 ft) |02C/20C – 4000 m (13123 ft) |02R/20L – 4000 m (13123 ft)

    Terminal 1 | Terminal 2 | Terminal 3 | Terminal 4 | JetQuay CIP Terminal

Although Asia-Pacific region the region recovered relatively slowly from the pandemic aviation industry due to the slower lifting of restrictions, the recovery in demand for air travel in Singapore has been much faster. The country fully reopened its borders on April 1, and passenger traffic at Changi International Airport quickly filled the first two open terminals as airlines began operating more flights.

And just a few months later in August, Changi Airport has already exceeded more than 55% of pre-pandemic passenger levels, and the government predicts that the number of flights will reach at least 80% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year, during the peak holiday season.


Despite how busy an international hub is on the tiny tropical island, Changi Airport has managed to avoid the chaos faced by rival airports in Australia, Europe and North America. Let’s see how the airport is prepared.

Problems at airports

Airports Australia, Europe and North America have had to lay off hundreds or even thousands of staff during the pandemic and have had trouble re-hiring the required workforce so quickly due to security clearances and training time. And as the global aviation industry moved into the post-pandemic era, these airports found themselves at a premium small-handed.

The problem arose due to the refusal of airport employees due to salaries and poor working conditions. And to top it all off, the airports were caught off guard airlines began to increase the flight schedule to profit from the upcoming summer season. More flights meant more passengersbut it may have been far more than the understaffed airports were prepared for.

Ultimately, travel this year turned into a terrifying mix of long lines stretching outside airport terminals and onto the roads, lost luggage that passengers couldn’t recover, and mass flight cancellation and delays. This has left passengers feeling exhausted and frustrated rather than relaxed and excited, and several once well-known airports have lost the trust of their once-loyal passengers as they turn to smaller regional airports to avoid the chaos.

Take a look at Changi’s strategy

More than 20,000 people visited Changi Airport last month the plane movements and about 3.32 million passengers. While the numbers may not be as big compared to competing peers, it is part of the airport’s strategy. The strategy also included successive meetings with airlines and important suppliers such as ground handling SATS and Dnata, as well as cleaning and catering companies, to accommodate the increased number of flights without affecting service levels.

According to Jason Goh, Changi Airport Group’s managing director of airport operations, the airport operator will work with airlines to change flight times instead of stopping or adding services. He commented:

“You can say ‘OK; this hour is peak. Can I still fly, but I’m flying two hours earlier or two hours later so you’re not trying to hit the peak?”

And unlike its rivals, Changi Airport has been lucky enough to keep about 25,000 of the 35,000 employees it had before the pandemic with the help of government programs. And so how Singapore reopened its borders, the airport hired 10,000 more employees to expand operations. Airlines want to increase flight schedules and passenger flow, Changi Airport reopened its previously closed terminals to equalize bandwidth, further ensuring smoother flight operations.

The airport has also been strategically renovating its previously closed terminals to balance passenger capacity and demand
Terminal 4 reopened on September 13
. Photo: Getty Images

Bottom line

Despite a slower start to entering the post-pandemic era of aviation, Changi Airport appears to be doing quite well, especially after recently outpacing airports in region to become Asia’s busiest airport. Several non-stop flights between destinations have yet to resume, and with the school holidays approaching at the end of the year, Changi Airport’s terminals are sure to be full. However, looking at how it has managed so far with a sufficient strategy, it is unlikely that the airport will face any significant problems.

https://simpleflying.com/singapore-changi-passenger-recovery/ How Singapore Changi avoided chaos after the resumption of passengers

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