SIA to suspend flights to Chengdu and Chongqing , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

SIA to suspend flights to Chengdu and Chongqing

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will suspend flights to Chengdu and Chongqing from March 31, fewer than five months after flights to the two Chinese cities resumed.

In response to queries, a SIA spokesman said the suspension is due to regulatory reasons, without elaborating further, including on the length of suspension.

The flag carrier currently operates daily flights to Chengdu, and thrice-weekly flights to Chongqing, said the spokesman.

“China is an important market for the Singapore Airlines Group,” he said.

“We will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities, as we adjust our network and capacity to China.”

SIA’s services between Singapore and Chongqing, Chengdu, Shenzhen, and Xiamen were also suspended in 2023 for regulatory reasons. Flights to the four cities subsequently resumed from Nov 26, 2023.

Local Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao reported on March 20 that the latest suspension is because SIA has not received approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) to fly to both cities in the summer and autumn seasons of 2024, citing Chongqing-based aviation industry sources.

Mr Mayur Patel, head of Asia at global travel data provider OAG Aviation, said that both Chongqing and Chengdu are not on SIA’s summer 2024 flying programme between March 31 and Oct 26.

Both Chinese cities are strategically important to Changi Airport’s status as South-east Asia’s aviation hub, and its ability to offer regional connections from various markets, said Mr Patel.

However, he added that Chongqing is “well served” by Air China and Chongqing Airlines - both operate one flight each daily between the city and Singapore - while Chengdu is also served by Air China and Sichuan Airlines at the same flight frequency.

He said: “While the regulatory approval process is a setback for SIA, this could be a temporary issue that they need to sort with the CAAC as these destinations play a strategic role with Chinese overall traffic mix, and connectivity within SIA’s global network.”

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