Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 Closing

Filed Under: Singapore

Singapore Changi Airport is closing yet another terminal.

Changi Terminal 4 is closing

As of May 16, 2020, Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 will be closed indefinitely. The timing of the terminal reopening will depend on when air travel demand picks up again, and when airlines seek to relaunch service from the airport.

The two airlines still flying to Changi that operate from Terminal 4 are Cathay Pacific and Korean Air, and they’ll be moving operations to Terminal 1. Terminal assignments for other airlines will be announced when they resume flights to Changi.

Cathay Pacific will move to Changi Terminal 1

This is being done to further optimize resources given the sharp decline in demand. This will not only save on utilities and cleaning costs, but it also means that stores and restaurants will be closed.

Of the four terminals at Changi, Terminal 4 is the only one that isn’t easily connected by trains, but rather is only connected to select other terminals by bus services. Those will be suspended not as well.

Changi Airport Terminal 4

Changi Terminal 2 is already closed for 18 months

The announcement of Changi Terminal 4 closing follows an announcement in early April that Changi Terminal 2 will be closing for 18 months. This came due to a steep decline in demand, and also because expansion work is being done on the terminal, and closing it allows them to expedite that work.

This is being done so the airport can be bigger in a couple of years, though let’s see if there’s even demand for that.

Changi Airport Terminal 2 rendering

Changi traffic is down 99.5%

To put into context just how bad the situation is, Changi Airport publishes monthly passenger movements. For the month of April, traffic was down 99.5% compared to April 2019. That’s insane.

Obviously we’re seeing huge drops in traffic globally, though Changi has the challenge of only offering international flights, and with the challenges associated with international travel due to border restrictions, that makes things even tougher.

Here in the US we’re seeing well over 90% reductions in passenger traffic compared to last year, but that’s not nearly as bad as a 99.5% reduction.

The Jewel is still open in a limited capacity

Bottom line

With a 99.5% reduction in demand it’s no surprise to see Changi closing down two terminals. Terminal 4 will now be closed until demand recovers, while Terminal 2 will be closed for the next 18 months, as expansion work is completed.

  1. End of the first header.

    Those will be suspended not as well.

    Not is not supposed to be there right? 🙂

  2. the reduction is naturally over 99% because singapore only has one airport and changi doesn’t allow transit passengers as enforced by their govt. shouldn’t be surprised there. cannot really compare to us airports where there are far more airports and people are still allowed to fly.

  3. I don’t think comparing Changi as worse than US is fair.

    SIN has no domestic route and 100% visitor and transit ban. Those 0.5% are just residents.
    A fair comparison would be data of international passengers flying in the US.

  4. It makes sense that passenger numbers are down. Singapore is a large trading nation so would be interesting to see what is happening with flight numbers as I’d guess there’s still a lot of freight flights going on.

  5. According to today’s media briefing Singapore is in talks to open international travel to select countries with well controlled systems to manage COVID. It is unfortunate as many visa holders – the spouses and children of Permanent Residents or Citizens – are stuck outside Singapore unable to return.

  6. @Dangerous Dave

    I wouldn’t say unfortunate, it is pretty much expected from an authoritarian regime with draconian policies.
    But that’s what it takes to defend a tiny island from foreign powers.

  7. @jk

    Yes HKG would be fair. But I’m saying US because the blog states “Here in the US we’re seeing well over 90% reductions in passenger traffic compared to last year, but that’s not nearly as bad as a 99.5% reduction.”

  8. Eventually, passenger numbers will return to, and exceed, previous totals. It just may take a few years. I make this comment because of the lines in your article saying things like “if they ever do.” Many publications make comments like this and it represents a natural human bias of taking current events and superimposing them on the future. Yet history has taught us that this is never the case.

    Travel will come roaring back, thought it could take a while given the expansive economic devastation that the virus and lockdowns have wrought. But this too will pass. An even bolder prediction: buffets will return too – eventually.

  9. Changi’s T4 is my favorite terminal. We should have a reader meet-up in T4 for a farewell celebration before it closes forever. Will start looking into flights to HKG or ICN so we can obtain access.

  10. For those who are unfamiliar with SIN, the airport buildingss are connected in non-sequential terminals (SIN-2 is built perpendicular to SIN-1, and SIN-3 is perpendicularly attached to the other end of SIN-1). Terminal 4 is not physically attached to any terminal.

    That’s why closures of SIN-2 and SIN-4 will not affect operations at SIN-1 and SIN-3.

  11. @stogieguy7
    “if they ever do.”

    Blockbuster Video
    Tower Records
    Circuit City
    Atlantic City
    St. Louis
    Moon Landing

    Yet history has taught us that this is never the case.
    Still natural human bias?

  12. More curious about the expansion plans of Changi T5, 3rd runway, etc….if Singapore is shelving those plans for the time being seeing as it’s going to be *AT LEAST* 3 years before the demand returns to 2019 levels. I know they probably won’t like having mothballed buildings halfway completed but I don’t foresee another scenario.

    Apocalyptic what’s happening to international travel, so sad.

  13. SIN is my favorite airport and sad to see the traffic is down to 99.5% level. It will likely the first destination for me once the travel restriction is lifted; however, being an American, I am conscious we may not be the first group of passengers be allowed in.

    Hope with these closures of terminals at SIN, the airport management should give further considerations to consolidate alliances flights within the same terminal. At the moment, flights from three major alliances are scattered throughout the 4 terminals. SIN has always considered to be passenger friendly, but having to move around the terminals to catch flights operated within the same alliance seem to be an issue could be better managed. For example LHR Star terminal, NRT and PEK T3 is essentially the Star terminal as examples.

  14. @Eskimo
    Most of the things you list are individual businesses or brands. That’s not what I was talking about – I was referring to demand for a service in general, such as flight. And, there’s no question that it will be back and then some. Even if some of the airlines aren’t there to enjoy it, airports will be full again. It could take awhile. Covid-19 is hardly the Black Plague, where almost 50% of the population of western Europe was lost. This one is more like a blip on long term trends, even if it’s a huge (mostly man caused) disruption in the short term.

    Oh, and moon landings? Those will return at some point, when the value of doing so is commiserate with the cost.

  15. Eskimo your thinking is flawed. You are listing items and companies that mainly became irrelevant due to new technology processes etc. We are talking about the entire travel sector not small components. Not only will it come back but it may surprise some at just how fast this occurs.

  16. I don’t really get the traffic down by 99.5% remark. They only have like 5.6 million people that live there and the borders are effectively closed to any non-residents, so why would there be any real air traffic? Its not like demand suddenly dried up. Air travel is basically shutdown for most people when it comes to singapore and that is why traffic is down.

  17. Comment from @eskimo “pretty much expected from an authoritarian regime with draconian policies.” sounds like you are stuck in an igloo. What a clown for making such a comment.
    And @stogieguy7 about buffets… As long as there are Americans , yes buffets will return

  18. @stogieguy7

    You don’t get my point. Don’t expect anything to be the same. This spans across everything. Yes technology accelerates the change, but so does lifestyle. In the 50s doctors recommend smoking!!!

    “moon landings? Those will return at some point, when the value of doing so is commiserate with the cost.”
    Maybe there is no value on the moon at all. Maybe there is. But here you go again thinking those “will” return.

    “We are talking about the entire travel sector not small components.”
    And yet we don’t take the White Star Line to cross the Atlantic anymore. But we take Carnival to go around the Caribbean.
    Travel sectors do change. Hence Atlantic City was an example there too.
    DeLorean didn’t became irrelevant due to new technology, it’s adapted to freaking fictional time machine, how new tech is that. (You wouldn’t expect a Micheal J Fox driving a Model-T to 2015 right?

    Do you still think Communist Soviet Union will return, just the matter of when?

    All I’m addressing is both of you are just on the other opposite end of your so called ‘natural human bias’. Both bias are right and wrong. That’s all.

  19. @Crosscourt

    I actually gave “authoritarian regime with draconian policies” as a compliment. It seems to work best for a country that size. They would have been conquered if they were more liberal and free.

    Maybe you should stop being the clown and realize that you are the one in the propaganda igloo.

  20. I flew to Changi March 13 with no restrictions.

    On March 17 I flew back to Changi from Vietnam and was told of the 14-day mandatory quarantine, so I slept in Changi three nights until I could get a flight out.

    As soon as Singapore drops the 14-day mandatory quarantine, you will find me in Changi, connecting to Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or any Asian country that has dropped flyer quarantines.

  21. @Eskimo

    Not just citizens. I was one of those 25k that flew through Changi last month, returning to my home country having been in Singapore since the early days of the COVID 19 outbreak.

  22. It’s not really fair or accurate to say that traffic is down 99.5%. The airport is closed! There are zero inbound or outbound flights scheduled and no transit/stopover allowed.

    The only flights allowed are diplomatic, repatriation, humanitarian, and freight.

    So, don’t make it sound like a dire situation that traffic is “down”. For all intents and purposes, it’s is closed by government mandate.

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