'No intention of moving': Jetstar 'extremely disappointed' with Changi Airport's decision to relocate airline to T4
Changi Airport Group earlier announced that it would reopen Terminal 4 on Sep 13 and progressively relocate 16 airlines to the terminal.
SINGAPORE: Jetstar Group said on Friday (Jul 22) that it has "no intention of moving" to Changi Airport's Terminal 4, after the airport operator announced that 16 airlines will relocate progressively.
The company said the decision to move was made unilaterally by Changi Airport Group (CAG).
Jetstar Group mainly operates out of Terminal 1 at Changi Airport, with limited arrivals at Terminal 2.
In a statement issued slightly over an hour after CAG officially announced Terminal 4's Sep 13 opening date and the relocation of 16 airlines to the terminal, Jetstar said: "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."
CAG had said that Jetstar Group will move to Terminal 4 on Oct 25, joining airlines such as AirAsia Group, Cathay Pacific and Korean Air.
"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," said Jetstar.
"While we remain committed to working with CAG, today’s announcement by the airport ignores our concerns and goes against the spirit of the long-standing partnership we have built over the years.
"Until an agreement is reached, we have no intention of moving and have informed CAG of that fact."
CAG RESPONDS TO JETSTAR
In response to Jetstar's statement, a CAG spokesman told CNA that the group's engagement with the airline regarding the move was not recent and had begun in 2019.
The discussions had commenced before the COVID-19 crisis as Changi Airport was experiencing tight capacity during peak hours, CAG said.
"The best solution was to move Jetstar to T4 which would provide headroom to support Jetstar's and other airlines' growth at Changi, while at the same time ensuring that passenger experience is not compromised," the spokesman said.
With air travel resuming, CAG said there was an urgency to "rebalance the airport's traffic across its terminals quickly" to meet the expected air traffic demand in the upcoming end-year holiday season.
The group added that it had explained to Jetstar that relocating to Terminal 4 was the only option that would allow the airport to optimally use its aircraft gates.
"With 17 gates to support narrow body aircraft, T4 is a very good fit for Jetstar which currently operates predominately narrow-bodied aircraft," the spokesman said.
"To facilitate the relocation, CAG has also accepted Jetstar's suggestion to form a joint taskforce to ensure a smooth transition for Jetstar to operate in T4."
16 AIRLINES RELOCATING TO TERMINAL 4
Terminal 4 was opened in 2017 with a capacity of 16 million passengers per year. It suspended operations in May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reopening the terminal will add to Changi Airport's capacity, "ensuring that the air hub can meet the increasing demand for air travel and support airlines’ plans to launch more flights", CAG said on Friday.
Sixteen airlines will relocate to Terminal 4 in September and October, starting with Cathay Pacific and Korean Air on reopening day, CAG said. AirAsia Group will follow suit on Sep 15, while Cebu Pacific, Juneyao Air, Jeju Air, Bamboo Airways and HK Express will do so on Sep 20.
Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air and Thai VietJet Air will move two days later, followed by Jetstar Asia Airways and Jetstar Airways on Oct 25.