Commentary: Are new airline players the answer as demand for travel returns in Singapore?


The primary bottleneck for the subsequent few years is the present two-runway system, which limits the variety of flights the airport can deal with with out resulting in an unacceptable stage of congestion and delays.

The variety of flights or actions is presently at about 89 per cent of 2019 ranges and about 87 per cent of peak pre-COVID ranges. Which means 11 per cent to 13 per cent of the prevailing slots are unused.

Nonetheless, there ought to be a possibility previous to the beginning of the three-runway system for Changi Airport to return to the over 33,000 actions it was dealing with throughout peak months earlier than the pandemic and squeeze out a modest variety of further slots, probably by incentivising extra flights at off-peak occasions.

The quartet of main opponents in Singapore’s airline market – SIA, Scoot, AirAsia Group and Jetstar Asia – made up 31 per cent, 18 per cent, 9 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively, of the whole scheduled passenger flights at Changi Airport final month.

Of the 4, solely Scoot and AirAsia are absolutely utilising their slots.

Scoot final month had about 5 per cent extra scheduled flights at Changi Airport in comparison with August 2019, whereas the AirAsia Group had just about the identical quantity, in response to world journey information supplier OAG.

As compared, SIA had 24 per cent fewer scheduled flights at Changi Airport final month in comparison with August 2019 (together with the flights operated in 2019 by its regional subsidiary SilkAir, which was merged into SIA in 2021), whereas Jetstar Asia had 60 per cent fewer flights.

SIA is gradually adding flights over the next several months and lately introduced its schedule for the northern hemisphere summer time 2024 season. On account of the additions, its flight rely at Changi Airport is projected to be simply 11 per cent decrease in August 2024 in comparison with August 2019, as per information from OAG.

Scoot has not but selected its summer time 2024 schedule. Nonetheless, SIA Group, which incorporates Scoot, will probably once more be utilizing 100 per cent of its Changi slots by the top of 2024 with some slots that had been used previous to the pandemic by SilkAir transferred to Scoot.

Jetstar Asia additionally has not but selected its summer time 2024 schedule however lately supplied capability projections for the primary half of subsequent 12 months, when its capability will nonetheless be at lower than 50 per cent of 2019 ranges with a fleet of 9 plane. Jetstar Asia presently operates seven plane, in comparison with 19 previous to the pandemic, and has introduced two extra plane will probably be added by the top of this 12 months.

Jetstar Asia and SIA presently account for nearly all of the unused slots at Changi Airport as the whole variety of flights operated final month by airways outdoors the quartet of the 4 main opponents was solely 3 per cent lower than August 2019. Even Chinese carriers final month had solely 4 per cent fewer flights at Changi than August 2019 regardless of China being the final market to reopen.

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