Singapore Airlines cuts almost all flights amid travel restrictions

With travellers banned from visiting Singapore and transiting through it, Singapore Airlines pares its network to the bone.

By Chris C., March 23 2020
Singapore Airlines cuts almost all flights amid travel restrictions

Singapore Airlines will almost grind its international flight network to a halt in light of the Singaporean Government’s ban on visitors and transit travellers, and similar bans in many countries to which it flies.

Between them, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir will ground 138 aircraft, out of a total fleet of 147 jets – leaving just nine aircraft flying – with low-cost subsidiary Scoot parking 47 of its 49 planes.

Until at least the end of April 2020 there will be flights to just five destinations – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Jakarta and Brunei – representing a staggering 96% capacity reduction.

"The resultant collapse in the demand for air travel has led to a significant decline in SIA’s passenger revenues," the airline said in a statement.

"It is unclear when the SIA Group can begin to resume normal services, given the uncertainty as to when the stringent border controls will be lifted."

Many of Singapore Airlines' flights to Australia and other destinations were already slated to be wound back or cancelled from late March until at least the end of April, with these changes serving as a further reduction.

As Singapore is a city-state with no commercial domestic flights, the impacts of global travel restrictions on the airline will be significant.

In February 2020, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir ran up to 155 return flights per week between Australia and Singapore: plus, five return flights per week between Melbourne and Wellington.

Singapore Airlines cancellations: what to do if you're affected

Alternative travel options can be clarified once Singapore Airlines reveals which flights have been cancelled and which remain, with a standing policy that  "affected customers will be notified and re-accommodated onto other flights."

The airlines' current waiver policy is to allow tickets to become open-dated, to change flights without fees, or retain the value of the ticket for future travel before 31 March 2021.

For urgent assistance within 72 hours of your flight, contact the reservations team at 13 10 11 from Australia or +65 6223 8888 from overseas if you booked directly with Singapore Airlines. If you booked through a travel agency, contact that agency.

If your travel isn't as imminent, then you can contact the team through an online form. As a last resort, if you can't get in touch and miss your flight departing between 16 to 31 March 2020, all no-show fees will be waived when you rebook or change your ticket to open-dated.

You can keep track of Singapore Airlines' latest advisories, including new flight cancellations and ticket waiver policies, on its website.

Also read: Singapore now bans transit passengers, visitors

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.


23 Mar 2020

Total posts 1

Hi, i have been in Perth since 7th January, this was an extended holiday visiting my daughter and grandson. I am due to fly home on the 3rd April. ETA visa only allows 93 days stay at any time,

I have been trying for over a week to speak to someone at Singapore airlines but have had no response from any of the emails or inquiry forms, and no one picks up the phones. How the hell are we meant to get home. I have family in the UK

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 784

You could always trip out to the airport and talk to their ticketing people. However they may or may not be there. It's an option.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Sep 2013

Total posts 47

See UK Civil Aviation Authority advice for UK citizens currently abroad here:

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Dec 2017

Total posts 51

QF is showing an economy Perth departure on 25 March, and a business departure a few days later - don't know how long it'll last!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 118

Yes just take the Qantas PER-LHR direct and get the refund later if you do really need to get back. Hope you used travel insurance.

27 Aug 2018

Total posts 10

How does this waiver/open ended ticket apply to awards tickets? Ideally i would just like my points put back into my account but when i go to cancel it says there is a 218SGD cancellation fee as per normal.

24 Mar 2020

Total posts 1

Hi , I am on confirmed tickets transit travelling to Auckland NZ on 29th match from Singapore . Am I allowed ? Flight is Air New Zealand

24 Mar 2020

Total posts 1

Hi, i have been booked on a return flight from adelaide to singapore since may 2019 (3 adults) to travel march 18th and return april. We were to go on a cruise from singapore but that was cancelled and we have received the full refund from princess cruises. I rang the airline to cancel flights and rebook next year so they changed my tickets to open tickets. I also paid for 3 x seating preferences each way. These tickets will expire in may 2020. I want to rebook now but have tried phoning them and have been on hold for more than an hour each time. I have sent them an email through their online form. When i go online to manage booking and enter my booking ref, which starts with S2. It stases no booking found. When i enter ticket number which starts with 618 it says no booking found. What else can i do? Thanks.

04 Apr 2020

Total posts 1

Like many other people, my flight on Singapore Airlines has been cancelled, it's a casualty of the times and not in Singpaore Airlines control, however, Singapore Airlines response has been somewhat exploitative.

I can understand the refusal of refunds (even though I'd like one), but what I cannot abide is the blatant attempt to extract rebooking fees from affected passengers by forcing all rebooked travel to be completed by 31st March 2021, even though this is unlikely to be possible for many passengers.

I am currently forced to book travel dates prior to March 31st next year, and then later face cancellation/rebooking fees when I have to change the date to May / June 2021, which is precisely one year after the original intended travel dates. Not everyone has the flexibility to travel according to the whimsical dates selected by management at Singapore Airlines.

Singapore Airlines management, this is a poor show for an otherwise reputable and excellent airline.

24 Jan 2020

Total posts 5

I've seen so much illogical thinking and poorly thought through decisions on part of airlines following this global event that I can't help but think they are just not equipped to deal with the size and severity of current disruptions. Not only are poorly formed policies such as expiry of travel credits grossly unfair to travellers, they do nothing for preserving travellers' good will for when things return to normal. Not to mention the unnecessary stress imposed on travellers who can't reasonably plan future travel given the uncertainty of virus spread around the world and consequent uncertainty with ongoing government travel restrictions, as well as the impact on airlines' frontline employees who are put in the unenviable position of having to defend such undefendable airline policies.

On the topic of travel credits, I would bet the reason for unreasonably short expiry date, particularly for international long haul travel, is driven by the existing processes and the airlines' reservation systems rather than their management's desire to limit travellers' ability to use travel credit. From the airline's business point of view it makes no sense at all to limit travel credits' use date when longer travel credit is not used, the value of credit is declining against the rising cost of travel. Also, isn't travel credit effectively an IOU note, which longer it is not fulfilled, the better for the airline's cash-flow?

Nothing makes sense to me about any of these travel policies we read and hear about at the moment and all I can hope for is that travellers' memories are not short lived when in the future we have the upper hand in deciding where and how our money is spent. I've shortlisted my favourite airlines already based on their responsible level of response to this crisis.

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 24


Question : we are booked singapore airlines Melbourne to Singapore July 2 nd ret July 22nd

We are not allowed to leave Australia in the near future ! Where do we currently stand please : anybody?

31 May 2020

Total posts 1

Mmmm Sutty hopefully someone will answer that. Singapore have still only cancelled flights to end June. Even then it is not clear what is going on. We had flights out of Sydney to London via Singapore . Singapore Airlines have cancelled our outbound and inbound flights to and from Singapore. However the same day we've received emails to say our seats have been changed on the Singapore to Lhr leg of the journey! Nothing's joined up yet. Hopefully when our booking is processed for cancellation it will be for the whole booking!

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