Singapore Flyer resumes operations after longest suspension on record, shortens operating hours
SINGAPORE — After a technical issue ground it to a stop four months ago, the Singapore Flyer resumed operations on Friday (March 20). This has been the longest period of suspension by far.
SINGAPORE — After a technical issue ground it to a stop four months ago, the Singapore Flyer resumed operations on Friday (March 20), but with shorter operating hours due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This has been the longest period of suspension for the attraction by far.
Operator Straco Leisure said in a statement that the authorities gave it the go-ahead to restart operations.
The ferris wheel, which opened in 2008, had to close on Nov 19 last year on orders from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), after the Singapore Flyer’s maintenance team detected a technical issue with a spoke cable.
The wheel has 112 spoke cables that support its rim, and the issue affected a small section of the outer layer of a cable.
The Singapore Flyer said that inspections and tests had been done under the supervision of a specialist professional engineer and a professional civil engineer that it had engaged, to ensure the structural integrity of the wheel.
A spokesperson for the BCA, which regulates amusement rides in Singapore, told TODAY that the agency gave the approval on Thursday for operations to resume, after the professional engineers completed the necessary checks and tests to its satisfaction.
SHORTER OPERATING HOURS
As the country is now in the grip of the Covid-19 crisis, the Singapore Flyer said that with immediate effect, operating hours will be cut until further notice.
It will operate from 3pm to 9pm daily, with the last admission at 8.30pm.
Its usual operating hours were from 8.30am to 10.30pm.
Mandatory temperature screening is also in place for guests and employees, the operator said. It has also raised the frequency of cleaning, sanitisation and disinfection of its passenger capsules, common areas and facilities.
“Once again, the team at Singapore Flyer apologises for the inconvenience caused and we look forward to welcoming guests again,” it said.
TODAY reported in January that the suspension had affected human traffic and business at the attraction’s retail terminal. Some tenants reported sales diving by 50 per cent or more.
Speaking to TODAY on Friday, Ms Siti Zulaiha, manager of Bhandari’s Saffron Dining and Event, an Indian restaurant and a tenant at the retail terminal, said that business plunged by 70 per cent last month, worsened by worldwide travel restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 outbreak.
This meant that there were fewer foreign visitors at the Singapore Flyer.
“We do hope that the number of people coming to the Singapore Flyer would increase, probably from the local side, because many countries are in lockdown,” Ms Siti said.
She suggested that the venue roll out promotions to woo Singaporean visitors.
This is not the first time that the attraction has faced technical problems. As recently as early 2018, a technical issue forced it to stop operations for a little more than two months.
In 2010, it shut after lightning struck an electrical cable supplying power to the air-conditioning systems. More than 200 passengers were evacuated. It reopened two days later after repairs.