SINGAPORE - Several hundreds of transit passengers have passed through Changi Airport since June 11, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Tuesday (June 23).
The number of transit travellers is expected to rise in the coming weeks as the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group starts to serve transit passengers from more locations in China, Japan and South Korea.
The SIA Group comprises Singapore Airlines, regional arm SilkAir and budget carrier Scoot.
These new locations, such as Hong Kong, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Osaka and Tokyo, were added to an approved list that includes cities in Australia and New Zealand.
CAAS director for airport economic regulation and aviation security Margaret Tan told The Straits Times that it approved transit flight applications by the SIA Group after it was "satisfied that the safety, health and well-being of transfer passengers, airport staff and public health in Singapore would be protected to the maximum extent possible".
CAAS is evaluating applications from other airlines, she added.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who visited the transit holding area in Changi Airport Terminal 3 on Tuesday, said about 50 transit passengers from Christchurch transited through Changi on Tuesday evening.
These passengers had temporarily stopped in Singapore on their trips to Europe and other parts of the world.
Mr Khaw said the designated transit area in T3 has good facilities - such as dedicated shopping, arcade consoles and a playground - to accommodate passengers.
"We have implemented safety measures to protect both our staff and the transfer passengers," he added.
"With each flight, we polish up our procedures, to make passengers feel welcome and safe."
Changi Airport Group had said that passengers flying through Changi will, upon arrival, be guided to the transit areas, which will be open only for transit passengers and authorised airport staff.
Temperatures will be taken at the entrance and the areas will be deep-cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Transit passengers waiting for their connecting flights must wear a face mask and follow safe-distancing markers while airport staff working in the holding areas must use a face mask, face shield and gloves.
Airlines worldwide are slowly restarting flights as travel restrictions start to ease slightly in some countries.
Scoot said on Monday that it will restart flights to two more cities - Surabaya and Taipei - next month.
Correction note: The article has been edited for clarity.