A dedicated passenger terminal is being considered at Singapore's Changi airport for use by low-cost carriers, as new airlines prepare for launch and the city state's government seeks to attract more users. At present Changi has two terminals. It is building a third capable of handling 20 million passengers that should open in 2006.

Transport minister Yeo Cheow Tong says the terminal would be located at the main Changi airport, rather than Singapore's secondary Seletar airport, and would have limited amenities. The terminal could be ready for use by 2005 and its passenger service charges would be lower.

"Going by the low-cost terminals I have visited in the UK, I expect the low-cost terminal in Changi, if we do build one, to have the same physical attributes as some of our bus terminals," says Yeo. "This new form of air travel will, therefore, require not only a change in mindset on the part of the CAAS [Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore], but also the travelling public who have long experienced the high standards of Changi airport."

Singapore Airlines announced in December that it would launch an independent low-fare associate carrier called Tiger Airways in the second half of this year in partnership with investors from the USA and Europe. Another new Singapore-based airline, ValuAir, is planning to launch services in the first half of this year.

Indonesian low-fare carriers have meanwhile started operating to Singapore while Malaysia's AirAsia has looked at serving Changi while also considering starting an associate airline in Singapore with local partners.

Source: Airline Business