SINGAPORE. Retail, food & beverage and service concessionaires at Singapore Changi Airport will receive rental assistance as part of measures announced to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The assistance package, which is part of a S$112 million (US$79.97 million) package announced to help the airport community, will see current concessionaires across the airport offered a 50% rebate on their monthly basic rental costs for six months, effective 1 February 2020. The initiative underlines just how serious the COVID-19 crisis has become for airports and their commercial partners.

This is in addition to an automatic rental offset tied to passenger movements at the airport that these concessionaires will receive as part of their tenancy agreements, the airport said.

“Although we will see an adjustment to total rental with the decline in passenger traffic, the additional assistance from Changi Airport Group will help our business during this challenging period.” – Shilla Travel Retail Managing Director Jeff Lee

Both perfumes & cosmetics concessionaire, The Shilla Duty Free, and liquor & tobacco retailer DFS Group will receive substantial temporary financial relief

“The shops and restaurants in Changi Airport are very much dependent on passenger traffic. The COVID-19 situation has affected air travel significantly and there has been a marked drop in business for our concessionaires,” Changi Airport Group Executive Vice President of Commercial Lim Peck Hoon said.

“With our unique rental structure, our concessionaires will benefit from an automatic reduction in their rent in tandem with the reduction in passenger traffic. In addition, we have decided to provide further assistance by reducing the basic rental amount to help our concessionaires during this very difficult period.”

Concessionaires were quick to applaud the move by Changi Airport Group. Shilla Travel Retail Managing Director Jeff Lee said: “The COVID-19 situation worldwide has impacted sales in our airport stores, particularly from the drop in the number of Chinese passengers who were among our top customers. Although we will see an adjustment to total rental with the decline in passenger traffic, the additional assistance from Changi Airport Group will help our business during this challenging period.”

Bengawan Solo Director Henry Liew commented: “The support from Changi Airport Group comes at a critical time amid the current climate due to the unexpected COVID-19 outbreak. The support will help our business, even as we continue to manage costs, keep jobs and remain positive.”

The airport added that as some businesses are taking a harder hit than others, it is currently in discussion with individual concessionaires to offer further assistance to ease the pressure and help them grow sales.

Besides the rent relief, Changi Airport Group has shortened the operating hours for tenants in the transit area, with the exception of retail and F&B outlets providing essentials services to passengers. Additionally, tenants in the public areas will be given the option to shorten their opening hours.

Changi Airport Group is the second airport operator in two days to announce support for operators affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. As reported, Airports of Thailand has announced a range of rent relief measures for the six airports it operates.

The assistance package in detail

The S$112 million Aviation Sector Assistance Package, co-funded by the Government, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Changi Airport Group (CAG), aims to help defray business costs and protect jobs, as well as safeguard Changi’s air connectivity. The assistance will be provided for a six-month period. The package will provide immediate relief to affected companies during the COVID-19 outbreak period.

(a) Airlines

Airlines operating flights between mainland China and Singapore have been most adversely affected thus far by the COVID-19 outbreak. The following assistance will be provided to them:

• All airlines that had operated scheduled passenger flights between mainland China and Singapore before the COVID-19 outbreak will receive landing credits. In addition, those that continue to operate scheduled passenger flights between mainland China and Singapore during the COVID-19 outbreak period will receive 100% Landing Charge Rebates for these flights.

Further support will also be provided to defray airlines’ other operating costs:

• 100% Parking Charge Rebate for all scheduled passenger flights; • 10% Landing Charge Rebate for all scheduled passenger flights to Singapore from points in Southeast Asia; • 50% Rebate on CAAS’s regulatory fees for new and renewed Certificates of Airworthiness paid by Singapore carriers flying scheduled flights in FY2019 and • six-month waiver of the planned 1% annual increase in Landing, Parking, and Aerobridge (LPA) Charges for all flights, which had been previously announced on 28 February 2018 and was scheduled to take effect from 1 April 2020.

(b) Cargo Industry

Freighter airlines and cargo agents impacted by the disruption in supply chains will receive the following assistance:

• 10% Landing Charge Rebate for all scheduled freighter flights; • 10% Rental Rebate for cargo agents tenanted in Changi Airfreight Centre; and • six-month waiver of the planned 1% annual increase in LPA Charges scheduled to take effect from 1 April 2020.

(c) Other Airport Stakeholders

Ground handling agents and retail/F&B tenants at the airport are also affected by the decline in traffic. They will receive assistance, such as rental rebates.