Changi Airport handled 65.6 million passengers in 2018, a 5.5 per cent increase from 2017.
Aircraft movements increased by 3.4 per cent to 386,000 landings and take-offs while cargo volumes rose by 1.4 per cent to reach 2.15 million tonnes.
The figures were released by the Changi Airport Group (CAG), who stated that December was once again the busiest month of the year with a total of 6.13 million passengers handled. The busiest day of the year was December 21 – the Friday before Christmas – with 221,155 passengers passing through Changi’s terminals. This is a new daily record for the airport.
CAG noted that the passenger traffic to Europe, South Asia, the Americas, and Africa grew by double-digit rates over the year. Among Changi’s top 10 markets, India and Japan had the strongest growth rates of 12 per cent and 10 per cent respectively, followed by China and Vietnam, which were both up 7 per cent.
The airport also handled 386,000 aircraft movements, up 3.4%, welcoming three passenger airlines – Guangxi Beibu Gulf Airlines, LOT Polish, and Shandong Airlines. Seven new passenger city links were also established, to China (Nanchang), Germany (Berlin), India (Guwahati, Pune, Vijayawada), Indonesia (Belitung), and Poland (Warsaw).
Outside Asia, connectivity to Europe strengthened with non-stop links to Warsaw and Berlin, CAG said. Qantas reinstated its Singapore-London service, while Lufthansa resumed operations to Munich.
“We are pleased with the introduction of new city links, as well as the growth of long-haul routes from Changi airport, including the launch of the world’s longest service between Singapore and New York. Non-stop services to the United States have now doubled to 40 per week, providing greater convenience to our passengers,” said CAG’s managing director for air hub development Lim Ching Kiat.
Today, Changi Airport is directly connected to 19 cities in Europe, a 10-year high. In order to maintain a sustainable traffic growth across various passenger segments, CAG continues to collaborate with travel industry partners through new initiatives and partnerships – ‘Changi Stopovers’ programme, in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board, which encourages passengers travelling through Changi Airport to stop over in Singapore.
CAG has also embarked on a new initiative to work with travel agents to offer flight charter services to new destinations in China, such as Guiyang and Zunyi. Charter services to other Chinese cities such as Yancheng, Yichang and Zhangjiajie are also being explored. Charter services are key to cultivate demand to new cities and pave the way for scheduled services, CAG said.
Soon Changi will open the doors to its ‘Jewel Changi Airport’, a mainly commercial development with play attractions, augmenting Changi Airport’s status as an air hub.
“We expect 2019 to pose challenges include rising fuel prices and trade tensions. While these potential headwinds may impact the industry, demand for air travel in the Asia Pacific region is forecast to grow steadily, added Lim. “Together with our airport community and partners, we look forward to strengthening our connectivity and better serving our passengers’ needs.”