Jetstar Asia and (3K) and Jetstar (JQ), part of the Qantas (QF) Group family, have continued to refuse the request by Changi Airport Group, to relocate to Singapore Changi Airport terminal 4.
Terminal 4 is helping the capacity of Singapore
The terminal of one of Asia’s most popular airports, Changi Terminal 4 opened in October 2017, spanning 225,000 sq meters and providing capacity for up to 16 million passengers per annum. It occupies the site of the former Budget Terminal, and though it was originally considered a dedicated terminal for low-cost carriers, it eventually pivoted to host full-service carriers as well.
Due to the downturn in international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport group closed the terminal in May 2020. However, now that travel demand is booming, the airport group advised they would reopen and advised nominated carriers of their suggested moving date.
Historically speaking, terminal 4 was primarily used for flights that didn’t require transfers, such as point-to-point services between Singapore and Hong Kong or South Korea. But as Jetstar’s model relies on connections with other airlines— it currently interlines with T1 carriers like Emirates and Qantas— and relocating would present a significant inconvenience to connecting passengers. That’s because T4 is physically separated from the other three terminals, with airside buses instead of Skytrain service.
Photo: Changi Airport Group
Of the 16 airlines relocating to terminal 4, many will be budget airlines like AirAsia, which has traditionally anchored the terminal. Other airlines relocating to the terminal include Cebu Pacific and Vietnam Airlines. Jetstar Group was supposed to relocate to T4 on Oct 25, but the Australian-based group has said the decision had been made “unilaterally” and that it would not move until its concerns are addressed.
Disadvantages for Qantas frequent fliers
Those who are Qantas frequent fliers may recognize the disadvantages of Jetstar moving to the isolated terminal. Qantas elites currently enjoy the Qantas Business or Qantas First Lounge even when flying on Jetstar, which is ideal if utilizing Jetstar Asia to fly away on an exotic holiday. Jetstar has commented advising:
”We are extremely disappointed that the Changi Airport Group (CAG) has chosen to unilaterally announce a plan to relocate the Jetstar Group to Terminal 4 at Changi International Airport, before any agreement has been reached.
A joint study was only agreed to be undertaken last week and this announcement completely disregards that agreement and the impact a move would have on our customers, our people, and our operations
Until an agreement is reached, we have no intention of moving and have informed CAG of that fact.”
Terminal 4 currently is the home to only two lounges. Cathay Pacific’s lounge is exclusively for its own passengers. All others may use the Blossom Lounge, a contract facility open to Dragon Pass, Lounge Key, and Priority Pass members.
Terminal 4 is all about automation
Terminal 4 is big on automation, with many check-in and bag drop desks fully self-serve. In addition to this, immigration and boarding checks are handled through facial biometrics. It’s meant to serve as a testbed for these concepts ahead of the planned Terminal 5.
Photo: Getty Images
Construction of Terminal 5 will start within the next few years, with the facility planned to open for travelers in the mid-2030s. Located within the 1,080-hectare Changi East development, it will have a three-runway system and be linked to the other four terminals.
Sources: Straits Times, Milelion, CNN, Passenger Terminal Today, iTech Post