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Changi Airport to shut Terminal 4 temporarily from 16 May

Not many airlines are operating there for now, anyway.

Changi Airport today (12 May) announced that it will be suspending operations at Terminal 4 from 16 May until further notice.

It said in a press release:

Changi Airport’s terminal operations will be consolidated further to optimise resources in tandem with the sharp decline in flight movements because of the global Covid-19 pandemic. This move will enable Changi Airport Group (CAG) and its airport partners to continue to save on running costs such as utilities and cleaning.

Changi Airport Group, press release dated 12 May 2020

Earlier this month, Changi Airport shut Terminal 2 from 1 May for a period of 18 months to upgrade the aged terminal. This is the first time Changi Airport has closed off an entire terminal to facilitate upgrading works in its almost 40 years of operations.

Where are T4 airlines moving to?

Some time last month, Cathay Pacific has already moved to Terminal 1 at Changi Airport for its 2 to 3 flights each week. It has closed off its own lounge at Terminal 4 as early as February, so moving terminals wasn’t really a big deal.

With Cathay operating out of Terminal 1 since mid-April, Terminal 4 was effectively… a ghost town. Before Cathay Pacific moved, there was still the occasional Juneyao Airlines flight, but this has seemed to be suspended for a while now.

Korean Air seemed to have resumed a weekly service between Singapore and Seoul-Incheon, so it will have to move terminals as well.

For those who are still interested to know in theory where are the T4 airlines moving to, all the airlines currently housed in T4 will be moving to T1 except for Vietnam Airlines, which will be in T3.

The full table is below:

AirAsia Group (AK/FD/QZ)1
Cathay Pacific (CX)1
Cebu Pacific (5J)1
GoAir (G8)1
Guangxi Beibu Airlines (GX)1
Hainan Airlines (HU)1
Korean Air (KE)1
Regent Airways (RX)1
Spring Airlines (9C)1
Urumqi Air (UQ)1
Vietnam Airlines (VN)3
Vietjet (VJ)1

To recap, this is the list of terminals that T2 airlines will be moving to as well, which was announced earlier:

Air India (AI) – currently suspendedTBC
Air India Express (IX) – currently suspendedTBC
Ethiopian Airlines (ET) – currently suspended3
Etihad Airways (EY)3
Indigo (6E)TBC
LOT Polish Airlines (LO) – currently suspended3
Lufthansa (LH)TBC
Malaysia Airlines (MH) – currently suspended1
Royal Brunei Airlines (BI)1
Sichuan Airlines (3U)TBC
Swiss International Airlines (LX)TBC
United Airlines (UA) – currently suspended3

T4 shops, restaurants will be closed; shuttle bus suspended

As a result of the closure, all shops and restaurants in T4 will be closed until operations in T4 resume.

Terminal 4 shops (source: Changi Airport Group)

The shuttle bus service currently connecting T4 to T3 will also be suspended, although public buses will still call at the terminal. Public carparks at T4 will remain open as well.

Changi Airport has committed to working with its partners in spite of the current downturn, so that it “stands ready to restart operations at T4 as soon as a sufficient number of flights return to the terminal”.

Apart from these changes, Changi Airport has also mentioned other reduced operational footprint in view of the exceptionally low passenger numbers.

For instance, it said that it has closed seven finger piers at T1 and T3 until demand picks up. On the landside, it has also consolidated taxi stands at each terminal down from two to a single location each.

Skytrain services between all terminals have also been suspended, and visitors are directed to use the connecting bridges if they in the public area, and simply walk through the B gates on the transit area.

Changi Airport website

Final thoughts

The writing is on the wall. To be honest, I would have thought that Changi Airport would close off the terminal way earlier, given that Cathay Pacific has moved to Terminal 1 as early as last month.

It’s a good call nonetheless, given that operating an ghost town empty terminal is not exactly prudent on the energy end. While it kind of keep shops and operations running and still provide some form of a job, but you can imagine how low morale would be for these people, who are working in the world’s best airport, but only to see virtually no passengers most days.

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