British Airways is keeping the shutters down on its boutique lounge at Singapore's Changi Airport Terminal 1, although the airline has now put in place a temporary lounging solution for its Singapore passengers.
A BA spokesperson tells Executive Traveller that while there's currently no date set for when the airline's own lounge will reopen, its lounge-worthy travellers departing from Singapore will now be welcome at the independent Marhaba Lounge, which along with the nearby SATS Premier Lounge has become a go-to while many other airline-operated lounges remain closed.
Owned by Dnata, which in turn is an arm of Emirates, Singapore's T1 Marhaba Lounge is located on the upper or mezzanine level, opposite the Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao restaurant.
The door list for passengers on BA12 from Singapore to London/Heathrow includes:
- first and business class passengers
- BA Executive Club Silver and Gold members
- Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members
(The Marhaba Lounge also accepts Priority Pass, Dragon Pass, Lounge Key and Lounge Club cards, among a range of other lounge access programs.)
In pre-pandemic times, Singapore's Changi Airport T1 hosted four British Airways four flights a day: the London-Singapore BA11/BA12 service featured an Airbus A380 with 469 seats, while the BA15/BA16 'Kangaroo Route' was flown by a 299-seat Boeing 777-300.
However, reduced demand now sees British Airways currently flying its BA11/BA12 service four days a week, downgraded to a Boeing 777, with the return of BA15/BA16 tentatively scheduled from late March 2022 as a Boeing 787-9.
British Airways CEO Sean Doyle is confident those now-grounded A380s will return, although he expects that will be some years away.
"The A380 isn't flying at the minute, but it is in our plans for the future rebuild of the airline," Doyle remarked in July.
"Exactly when we will put the A380 back into service is something that we're not clear on... it will take demand two or three years to get back to where it was in 2019... our best guess is 2023-24."
British Airways opened its Singapore T1 lounge in August 2015, which along with the adjacent Qantas business class lounge – and later, the Qantas first class lounge and Qatar Airways premium lounge – gave Oneworld flyers a riot of choice before leaving the Lion City.
In the meantime, Qantas has said it will reopen its Singapore lounge as the airline resumes international flights from December 18, 2021 – with the prospect that the airline's Singapore first class lounge might roll out the welcome mat to all eligible travellers until there's sufficient demand to unlock the doors of the larger Singapore business class lounge.
"It will depend on what the demand looks like," Qantas Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully told Executive Traveller in December 2020, saying that "if demand is not large... it makes sense to open the more premium lounge."