SINGAPORE: Budget airline Jetstar Asia will start operating transit flights through Changi Airport from Dec 1, becoming the fourth carrier to do so as Singapore gradually reopens its borders.
Passengers from Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Phnom Penh can transit through Singapore to nine onward destinations served by the airline if their connection is within 48 hours, Jetstar Asia said on Friday (Nov 20).
Since Jun 2, travellers have been allowed to transit through Changi Airport with COVID-19 prevention measures in place. Transit flights have so far been reinstated by the three airlines under Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group – SIA, SilkAir and Scoot.
READ: SIA, SilkAir passengers from some Australian, New Zealand cities allowed to transit through Changi Airport
READ: SIA passengers from some cities in China, Japan and South Korea can transit through Changi Airport
Transiting passengers are required to book the full journey on one booking and must check with the relevant authorities that they meet the entry requirements for their destination, Jetstar Asia said in a media release.
At check-in, passengers will receive a wristband which they are required to wear throughout their journey to allow identification by airport and airline staff.
On board the aircraft, they will be seated at the front and will disembark first.
Upon arrival in Singapore, airport staff will meet the transit passengers and guide them to a transit holding area or transit hotel. Those with a tight connection time will be ushered to the departure gate directly.
When the onward flight is ready for boarding, the passengers will be escorted to their departure gate and ushered to a designated zone, from where they will board the aircraft after all other passengers.
These measures will not apply to transit passengers arriving from Vietnam as Singapore has lifted border restrictions for travellers from the country, Jetstar Asia said.
All passengers arriving in Singapore must wear a mask at all times and practise social distancing.
READ: Airlines restructuring and rapid testing before flights – what the new normal for aviation could look like
Singapore-based carrier Jetstar Asia grounded its fleet in March before resuming some services between Singapore and Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila in April.
It reintroduced services to Clark in the Philippines, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Medan and Penang in August.
In June, the airline announced it would cut up to 180 jobs – about 26 per cent of its workforce – and extend the furlough of the majority of its staff until December as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan.
The decision to reintroduce transit travel through Singapore was a positive step in the airline's recovery, Jetstar Asia CEO Bara Pasupathi said on Friday.
"Pre-COVID, transit and transfer passengers accounted for up to a third of Changi Airport’s passenger traffic and many of these passengers travelled and transited on Jetstar Asia flights," Mr Pasupathi said.
He said the airline has worked with Changi Airport to "ensure a smooth and safe transfer experience" for passengers, and introduced additional measures for "greater peace-of-mind".
"Our low fares services play an important role in helping our customers reconnect with family, get people back to work and undertake other essential travel," Mr Pasupathi said.
"They also help to boost the communities and economies of the destinations we fly to and means more of our people get back to work which is great news too."