Singapore faces flight issues on labour shortages

Singapore faces flight issues on labour shortages

Visitors at Jewel Changi Airport mall in Singapore on April 20, 2022. (Photo: Bloomberg)
Visitors at Jewel Changi Airport mall in Singapore on April 20, 2022. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Singapore’s Changi Airport will reschedule some flights in the upcoming days and has yet to approve some additional flight applications for next week as it faces a labour shortage, according to a news report on Friday.

“For this coming long weekend, there will be re-timing of a very small number of flights to spread the flights apart during the extremely high peak periods,” the Business Times reported, citing a spokesperson for Changi Airport Group.

The four-day holiday weekend in the Southeast Asian nation could be a particularly busy time as authorities have scrapped all tests for vaccinated people, reviving an interest in travel. So far, Singapore has avoided the long queues and flight disruptions plaguing airports across the world, from Australia to the United Kingdom.

Approvals are only coming in progressively to launch additional flights in May, the newspaper said, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter. There are concerns that more flights could lead to poorer passenger service and delays in baggage collection, according to the report. 

- Airports clogged with queues as travel rebound strains resources -

The reopening of Singapore’s economy is adding strain to a tight labour market, which saw a drop in foreign worker numbers during the pandemic and faces stricter hiring rules. At the same time, Singapore is seeking to woo back travellers as rivals like Hong Kong continue to impose some Covid-related restrictions. 

The country’s flagship carrier Singapore Airlines Ltd. forecasts that passenger capacity will rise to around 61% of pre-Covid levels by May, compared to 27% a year ago.

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