To support the recovery from the coronavirus crisis, the Singapore government will provide an additional $64 million (S$84 million) to the aviation sector.
On December 29, 2020, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) issued a statement announcing the new support measures to revive Singapore’s aviation, help airlines and workers in aviation. The new support package is additional to the previous aids: $85 million (S$112 million). Aviation Sector Assistance Package announced in February and the $141 million (S$187 million) Enhanced Aviation Support Package announced in August 2020.
As part of the new measure, the CAAS announced it would waive the fees payable by Singapore-based airlines for their Certificates of Airworthiness, as well as their licence fees payable for providing scheduled air services. It would also ensure 50% rebate off license fees payable for ground handling and catering services at Changi Airport and Seletar Airport from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021
Moreover, the authority announced the measures to support workers amounting to $15 million (S$20 million). Pilots, air traffic controllers and aircraft maintenance engineers who have to pay for their license and medical evaluation fees will get a full rebate for fees payable between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. The workers at risk of unemployment will be offered learning programs to facilitate their move to another job in the sector.
“Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) is grateful for the Singapore government’s continued strong support for the aviation industry. This booster package is a welcome measure that will bolster our ongoing efforts to overcome the challenges that we face, and be in a position of strength to grow and reinforce our leadership in the aviation sector as air travel recovers,” said Goh Choon Phong, the Chief Executive Officer at Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) in response to the package.
As Singapore borders have been largely shut throughout the year, the number of passenger traffic movements at Changi Airport in November 2020 is down 98% year-on-year, according to the CAAS.
Hong Kong and Singapore have previously agreed on a travel bubble but the agreement was postponed due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong. Initially the agreement was put on hold on November 21, 2020, just a day before the first flight was due to take off. It has since been pushed back to 2021.
In December 2020, Singapore announced it would allow a limited number of business, official and other “high economic value” travelers from around the world under a bubble arrangement. It would permit travelers to enter Singapore for short-term stays of up to 14 days.