At least 3 more airlines have been allowed to recommence stopovers in Singapore by Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).
The news comes shortly after the country’s flag carrier, Singapore Airlines, restarted its own transit services. The Singaporean government had initially banned certain short-term visitors, including transit passengers, last month.
According to the Strait Times, German flag carrier Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines and Garuda Indonesia will now be able to feed passengers on to Singapore Airlines and Silkair flights and vice versa.
Singapore Airlines has already received approval to resume transit flights from London Heathrow to Sydney and Auckland. However, this was under certain conditions. For example, passengers have to remain onboard the aircraft during its stopover in Singapore. This is due to the new COVID-19 strain recently detected in the United Kingdom.
As part of Changi Airport’s revamped transit process during COVID-19, passengers are escorted to a designated holding area, pre-booked transit hotel, or connecting gate, upon arrival depending on the duration of their layover.
“CAAS evaluates airlines’ applications to operate transfer routes taking into consideration the measures that the airlines propose to put in place to manage the risk of transmission at Changi Airport. Approval will be given only when we have ensured that the safety and well-being of passengers and airport staff are safeguarded.”, said a CAAS spokesperson to the Straits Times.
According to its operators, in the 11 months to November 2020, Changi Airport handled 1.16 million passengers. This compares to 2019, when the airport, one of the world’s busiest, saw 68.3 million travellers.