AirAsia returns to Singapore Changi Terminal 4, aims to have 205 planes in the air again by Q1 2023

(Fourth from left) Bo, Riad, Veranita, Tony, Logan, Santisuk and Ricky photographed with others at the ceremony to celebrate the return of AirAsia operations at Changi Airport T4 today.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

SINGAPORE, Sept 15: All AirAsia flights to and from Singapore Changi Airport will operate from Terminal 4 (T4), effective today.

Capital A Berhad chief executive officer (CEO) Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the return to T4 will provide opportunities for AirAsia to add more services to meet strong demand and importantly, enable them to make a full recovery to pre-Covid-19 frequency levels in the near future.

“We used to have 354 flights here (before Covid-19) weekly and we have about 180 flights now.

“At (the rate) we are going, we will surpass the 354 flights per week quickly,” he said during a ceremony to celebrate AirAsia’s return to T4 held at Changi Airport here today.

Tony also said that AirAsia is now focusing on getting all 205 planes back in operation by the first quarter of next year, and hoping to increase the number to 300 planes over the next five years.

“We now have 110 (planes) flying and with the help of our partners, we will get hopefully more than 160 planes ready by this December,” he added.

Flights to and from Singapore are currently operated by four airlines in the group: AirAsia Malaysia (AK), AirAsia Indonesia (QZ), AirAsia Thailand (FD) and AirAsia Philippines (Z2), connecting a total of 168 flights weekly to 12 destinations across the Asean region.

This weekly frequency currently stands at about 60 per cent of the airlines’ operations at T4 pre-Covid with plans to recover up to 96 per cent against the pre-pandemic frequency by year-end.

Tony further said with the AirAsia’s return at T4, the airline is targeting a total of 3.5 million passengers to Singapore by the end of this year.

He also mentioned AirAsia has plans to enlarge its Indonesian and Philippines operations beyond their pre-pandemic levels by the first quarter of next year, riding on better tourism and connectivity prospects.

However, he stressed that this does not mean that the airline will shrink its fleet operations in Malaysia and Thailand.

T4 is the first terminal at Changi Airport with an end-to-end Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) system.

According to a presentation tour by Changi Airport Group (CAG) associate general manager Chua Ching Hock and senior manager Ng Koon Ling, T4 was designed with the focus of it to become passenger-friendly.

For example, the conveyor belts and the check-in counters were built very low to ease the passengers’ burden from lifting up their heavy luggage and to ease the communication between the airport staff and passengers at the counters.

In general, T4 has 42 conventional check-in counters, 65 automated check-in kiosks, and 50 automated bag drop machines equipped with facial recognition system, with a capacity of handling 16 million passengers per year.

Also present at the event today were AirAsia Aviation Group Limited Group CEO Bo Lingam, AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat, AirAsia Indonesia CEO Veranita Yosephine, AirAsia Singapore CEO Logan Velaitham, AirAsia Thailand CEO Santisuk Klongchaiya, AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla. — DayakDaily