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Singapore's luxury terminal set to soar with facelift

ST PHOTO: TED CHEN

Publication Date : 16-11-2012

 

Changi Airport's six-year-old luxury terminal has invested in a S$500,000 (US$408,000) makeover to further pamper customers.

Upgrading works at the 2,000 sq m JetQuay facility - next to Terminal 2 - were completed in May.

Among the enhancements are redesigned restrooms and showers, as well as an island bar counter that serves as a focal point in the lounge.

There is also a separate family area, with cartoon and other children's channels for those travelling with children, a JetQuay spokesman said.

The terminal opened in September 2006, offering its own private driveway and entrance, check-in counters, and immigration and customs facility to those prepared to pay an annual membership fee on top of separate per-use charges.

Customers also get a to-and-fro electric buggy ride from the terminal to the aircraft gate.

The early years were tough for JetQuay, which is majority-owned by ground-handling company Worldwide Flight Services that has its headquarters in France.

High rates affected its popularity, and the global financial crisis of 2008 also caused a business dent.

In the three years from 2007, the firm lost more than S$5 million.

When economic recovery came, JetQuay cut its charges and entered into deals with airlines keen to channel premium customers through the five-star facility.

When it started, JetQuay charged each traveller S$450 for the buggy ride and use of its facilities. This was on top of an annual membership fee of between S$1,000 and S$4,000.

Now, there is no membership scheme and users pay S$350, although regular customers pay less, the spokesman said, without quoting an amount.

JetQuay also partners banks and airlines - including Air France/KLM, Japan Airlines, Korean Air and Garuda Indonesia - that offer their premium customers the use of the facility as a perk.

Other premium carriers such as Singapore Airlines have their own hospitality lounges at Changi Airport for top-tier customers.

Lower fees as well as commercial tie-ups have turned the business around for JetQuay.

Last year, the terminal served more than 70,000 passengers and made an after-tax profit of just over S$2 million.

Businessman Yap Kheng Fong, 40, who uses the facility about once or twice a month, said he values its ambience, privacy and quick immigration access.

Harold Thaddaeus Cheng Teck Meng, 42, general manager of an aviation fuel services company, said the only other airport he has come across that offers a similar five-star facility is in Hong Kong.

He added: "I have been to both and I do think that the competent staff and wonderful facilities make JetQuay a more superior facility than the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre."

US$1 = S$1.22

 

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