Australian passengers banned from Changi transfer to Singapore rivals

written by Adam Thorn | June 11, 2020
Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 9V-SMM arrives in Wellington. (Wellington Airport/Twitter)
Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 9V-SMM arrives in Wellington. (Wellington Airport/Twitter)

Australian and New Zealand passengers who fly with Singapore Airlines will be banned from transferring onwards with rivals at Changi airport.

The caveat will reduce options for travellers and deny them the opportunity to then fly with airlines operating out of the airport such as Qatar, British Airways, Cathay Pacific or Etihad. Australian Aviation understands the airline itself is not behind the ban.

It comes days after Singapore Airlines began to resume flights to Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane for the first time since national border closures.


The new restrictions are one of a host of changes in effect from 11 June.

The one-way only transit channel means customers from Australia and New Zealand must transfer onwards to a flight operated by an airline in the SIA Group, which includes Singapore, SilkAir or Scoot.

Connections must also be no longer than 48 hours and, significantly, transit and non-transit customers will be kept apart.

Singapore Airlines staff will welcome transit passengers at Changi and issue them with a wristband that indicates their access to a designated ‘transit holding area’, which they must not leave.


If a passenger’s transit time is less than 75 minutes, however, staff will usher customers directly to the boarding gate.

Facilities in the transit holding area will include food kiosks, vending machines, restrooms, a smoking room, and a snooze corner. Complimentary Wi-Fi is also available.

PPS Club members, suites, first-class and business class transit passengers will be invited to a ‘premium waiting area’ as they will not have access to the SilverKris Lounge (Business Class) at Changi Airport Terminal 3 due to the regulatory requirements.

Complimentary food and beverages will be provided.

Other destinations served as part of the wider SIA network include Amsterdam, Bangkok, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Manila, Narita, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai and Zurich.

Currently, only residents are allowed to leave the airport and then must stay in a dedicated facility.

Singapore Airlines regional vice president said, “We know that news of such transit channels will give people cause for excitement and hope.

“However, these feelings must be tempered at the current time with an understanding that we are still some time away from even considering being able to book an overseas holiday.

“The one-way transit channel will allow those who wish to return home from Australia or New Zealand to do so, in a COVID-safe manner, both on board our aircraft and while in transit at Changi Airport.”

Last week, Australian Aviation reported that Singapore Airlines will add additional Australian routes as part of its new ‘minimum connectivity network’ that will run from 8 June to 31 July.

It also comes after Singapore Changi Airport announced it would lift its transit ban from 2 June, following similar announcements from Dubai and Hong Kong.


  • Adelaide will be served once weekly using Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 medium-haul aircraft, with SQ279 departing Singapore on Mondays at 11:40pm and arriving in Adelaide on Tuesday at 7:55am. The return flight, SQ278 will depart Adelaide on Tuesday at 9:10am, arriving in Singapore at 3:10pm.
  • Melbourne will be served twice a week with Singapore Airlines’ A350-900 medium-haul aircraft. SQ237 will depart Singapore on Monday at 11:55pm, arriving in Melbourne at 9:20am Tuesday. The return flight, SQ218, will depart late Tuesday at 11:50pm, arriving in Singapore at 5:45am the next morning.
  • The second weekly service to Melbourne, SQ217 will depart Singapore at 11:10am Friday before arriving in Melbourne at 8:35pm. The return flight, SQ238 will then depart Melbourne at 9:35am on Saturday, arriving in Singapore at 3:25pm on Saturday.
  • Sydney will be served five times weekly with Singapore Airlines A350-900 long-haul aircraft. Three services a week will be direct Singapore-Sydney flights, with SQ231 departing Singapore at 12:45am on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday, arriving in Sydney at 10:25am. The return flight, SQ232 will depart Sydney at 12:10pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, arriving in Singapore at 6:40pm.
  • The Adelaide, Melbourne and direct Sydney services will commence from Monday, 8 June, however the new twice-weekly Singapore-Sydney-Brisbane-Singapore service will begin once regulatory approval has been received. SQ288 is planned to operate on Tuesday and Friday, with the flight leaving Singapore at 9:35am and arriving in Sydney at 7:15pm, it will then depart Sydney at 8:25pm, arriving in Brisbane at 9:55pm, before departing at 11:00pm and arriving in Singapore the next morning at 5:00am.

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  • Red Cee


    How many too / from Australia do they expect to get, considering our borders are virtually closed?

    • Patrickk


      Red Cee the borders are only closed to Australians going out and people can come in subject to two week quarantine

  • Ashley


    The Wuhan Coronaviris truly is a confounding marvel.

    If I fly Sydney to Singapore in Singapore Airlines, I’m safe.
    If I then fly Singapore to London on Singapore Airlines I’m safe.
    But if I instead fly Singapore to London on British Airways I’m not safe.

    If I protest the lockdowns in a group of 50 I’m killing everyone’s grandmas.
    If I protest the death of a violent criminal in a group of 30,000 I’m stunning and brave.

  • Darren


    It states a heading of Singapore Airlines Australian network however it doesn’t mention Perth. Is this another example of Australia forgetting Perth exists or does Singapore Airlines not currently have a schedule to Perth?

    • Adam Thorn


      Hi Darren,

      According to Singapore: Transit will also be available via the Scoot flights departing from Perth, Australia.

      Hope that helps!



  • ssmith3104


    How is it that the A350-900 departing from Melbourne are described as “medium-haul aircraft” but the A350-900 departing from Sydney are described as “long-haul aircraft”?

  • Peter Ehrler


    With thes measures Singapore Airlines have ruined good will and their own reputation. Are they so scared of competition? How can an Airline dictate to an airport what to do and what to allow. I am a krysflyer member, but will now think twice about flying with SQ in the future

  • Stephen Harris


    What happens if you need to fly into Changi via another country and you are trying to get back to Australia. Do you need to fly in with Sing Airlines?

    • Adam Thorn


      Hi Stephen,

      As far as I’m aware this situation is one-way: essentially, you can leave Australia and travel onwards but not the other way. It’s very, very confusing though, and many passengers will get caught out.



  • Paul


    In reply to SSmith3104 – SQ have their A350s in different configurations in terms of seating. Apart from that there is little difference be.tween the 2 fleets

  • Paul


    In reply to SSmith3104 – SQ have their A350s in different configurations in terms of seating. Apart from that there is little difference between the 2 fleets

  • David Tonks


    If an airline thinks it can dictate to me who I can fly with and insist on draconian measures such as wrist banding and herding people into an approved area, they are very much mistaken. I have already crossed Cathay Pacific off my list for travel out of Oz due to their money grabbing refund policies (and their disgusting treatment of passengers stranded in HK during the student protests).

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