Starting March 31, Singapore Airlines will no longer operate flights to Chongqing and Chengdu.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will stop its operations to Chengdu and Chongqing in China from March 31, less than five months after it resumed flights to the two cities. While the airline cited regulatory reasons for the suspension, it did not provide any specific details on the duration of the suspension. SIA currently operates daily flights to Chengdu and three weekly flights to Chongqing, according to a spokesperson.

“The Singapore Airlines Group considers China to be an important market,” stated the spokesperson. The company plans to continue collaborating closely with the relevant authorities as they adjust their network and capabilities to better serve the Chinese market.

Due to regulatory concerns, SIA’s services between Singapore and four Chinese cities (Chongqing, Chengdu, Shenzhen, and Xiamen) were halted in 2023. However, on November 26, 2023, the flights to these cities were resumed.

According to sources in the aviation industry in Chongqing, a local Chinese-language newspaper called Lianhe Zaobao reported on March 20th that Singapore Airlines (SIA) has suspended flights to the Chinese cities of Chongqing and Chengdu. The suspension is due to SIA’s failure to obtain approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to operate flights to both cities during the summer and autumn of 2024.

As per the head of Asia at OAG Aviation, Mr. Mayur Patel, Singapore Airlines (SIA) has excluded Chongqing and Chengdu from its summer 2024 flight schedule, which will be operational from March 31 to October 26. Mr. Patel further added that Changi Airport’s significance lies in its potential to serve as the aviation hub of South-East Asia and provide regional connectivity from diverse markets. However, he mentioned that Air China and Sichuan Airlines operate flights to Chengdu at the same frequency, and Air China and Chongqing Airlines provide a daily trip service between Singapore and Chongqing.

“Although SIA is facing a setback in the regulatory approval process, this may only be a temporary problem that they need to resolve with the CAAC as these destinations are strategically important for China’s overall traffic mix and connectivity within SIA’s global network,” he stated.