Coronavirus: ‘World’s best airport’ warns of long-term crisis

Coronavirus: 'World's best airport' warns of long-term crisis

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Singapore’s Changi Airport has warned of a “terrible time” as the Covid-19 epidemic showed no signs of abating.

The Asian transit hub is regularly voted the best airport in the world for the 60m to 70m passenger range.

Changi has shut down two terminals due to falling to the lowest level in flight history.

It has suspended construction of the fifth terminal for at least two years.

“The battle with the Covid-19 has just begun,” the Changi Airport Group said in its annual report. “There are no signs that the future situation will improve.

The company’s annual results expire in March 2020. The terrible recession of passengers since the onset of the epidemic in January has left much to be desired. On March 23, Singapore banned short-term visitors from entering and transiting.

But the impact of those months still had a big impact, with profits dropping 36% to $ 435 million ($ 319 million, £ 246 million), erasing previous profits built for most of 2019.

According to UK-based analyst Skytrax, Changi was named the world’s best airport for the eighth consecutive year in 2020.

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Jewelry in the crown

Last year, Changi Airport launched Jewel, a shopping and entertainment complex covering 1.5 meters square feet (14 hours). It has stores and attractions, including a rain forest, hedge labyrinth and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

The new complex has helped push visitors out of recession, raising revenue by 2.6% to এস 3.1 billion.

“Jewel is a new icon for Singapore and has redefined what it means to be an airport,” the Changi Airport Group added.

But the group still paints a grim picture of the international travel hub, saying the recovery “depends on how countries around the world manage border controls, relax air travel requirements and develop effective treatment options for the virus.”

Last week, U.S. airlines began laying off thousands of workers after Congress suspended a new economic relief plan.

And this month, the airline’s trade body, the International Civil Aviation Organization (IATA), downgraded its 2020 traffic forecast after “a disturbing outcome of the summer travel season.”

The IATA estimates that it will be at least 2024 before air traffic reaches pre-epidemic levels.

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