A major sign that things are not well at all in Singapore during this Covid-19 outbreak is the sight of dozens of Singapore Airlines, Scoot and SilkAir planes grounded at Changi Airport.
So highly visible are they that they can be spotted without difficulty by passing vehicles on the Pan-Island Expressway beside the airport grounds:
I’ve never seen so many idling planes at Changi Airport. Singapore Airlines and its two subsidiaries SilkAir and Scoot have slashed many flights amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport’s arrival belts are eerily empty too. pic.twitter.com/nlPsgGPGkP— Ellie L (@elevour) March 21, 2020
This video was taken on March 21.
From a different view from the airport, this is what the rows and rows of planes look like:
During pre-Covid-19 days, the Changi Airport grounds are devoid of planes as they are all in the air:
This is the same view from the PIE normally.
The only upside these days is the unusually clear skies over the airport, which is evident even at night.
Changi Airport ghost town
The situation is unprecedented as the effects of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) on the economy in 2003 was not as critical.
In the face of such a global economic meltdown where overseas travel has almost all but effectively shut down because of lockdowns, SIA has implemented sweeping capacity cuts of 96 per cent until end-April.
A total of 138 SIA and SilkAir planes from their combined fleets of 147 aircraft will be grounded.
SIA’s low-cost unit Scoot is grounding 47 of its 49 aircraft, suspending the vast majority of its network.
Pilots for the national carrier will be taking compulsory no-pay leave, otherwise, jobs will be lost.
This is what the inside of Changi Airport looks like, devoid of passengers and its usual hustle bustle:
the solari board in changi airport is almost empty. i’ve never seen her as empty as this...... then coronashit happened ☹️ pic.twitter.com/0WStcRcFUI— milo ais 🧃 (@sushipsal) March 23, 2020
The departure area has also been set up with coronavirus testing booths for arriving passengers:
Incoming passengers from Britain (not me) are being tested for coronavirus at Changi Airport in Singapore 🙏 pic.twitter.com/dGPcxDIa2I— Katerina Ang (@katerinareports) March 22, 2020