Changi: Year of two halves


SINGAPORE, 29 January 2016: Singapore Changi Airport delivered a record performance of 55.4 million passengers in 2015.

The region’s top gateway airport welcomed seven new airlines and nine new city links during the year. Airlines executed 346,330 landings and take-offs during a year that started with a sluggish performance in the first half and finished with robust returns during the last half.

2015 was named a year of two halves according to Changi Airport Group CEO, Lee Seow Hiang.

home no 7“Following 2014, which saw airline incidents in the region and depressed yields for many regional carriers, we had a relatively weak first six months with flat growth for the period,” he said.

“Nevertheless, we pressed on to woo new airlines and seek growth opportunities with existing ones…We have seen both full-service and low-cost carriers add capacity in recent months and this has resulted in stronger passenger growth of about 5% for the second half of the year.”

In December alone, Changi Airport registered 5.29 million passenger movements (+3.9% on-year), the highest ever traffic the airport has achieved in a month since it opened in 1981.

Changi Airport’s daily record was also broken on the Saturday before Christmas (19 December), with more than 192,000 passengers passing through in 24 hours.

Traffic was positive for most of Changi Airport’s top 10 country markets with Thailand (+12.5%), Vietnam (+7.2%) and China (+7.0%) registering the strongest growth.

This was offset by softer performances on routes from Indonesia (-7.3%) and Hong Kong (-1.2%).

While the broader trend for air travel was positive, traffic to Singapore was impacted by the strength of the Singapore Dollar against some regional currencies.

Jakarta continued to top the list of busy routes to Singapore with 3.79 million passenger movements last year, followed by Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Manila.

Bangkok was Changi’s second fastest growing route among destinations with at least half a million passengers handled in 2015. Colombo, Guangzhou, Mumbai and Tokyo rounded up the top five.

New airlines and destinations

During the year, seven new carriers commenced operations at Changi Airport. The return of Air New Zealand boosted capacity on the Singapore-Auckland route while the addition of Batik Air, Thai Lion Air and Myanmar National Airlines strengthened Changi’s connectivity within Southeast Asia.

Changi Airport added nine new destinations in 2015 of which four where Chinese city links (Changchun, Quanzhou, Sanya and Yinchuan).

This strengthened the airport’s position as the most connected airport in Southeast Asia to China, with a total of 32 city links to the country.

Besides Chinese cities, Changi also saw new services to Cairns in Australia, Lucknow in India, Luang Prabang in Laos, Pattaya (U-Tapao) in Thailand and Cincinnati in the United States, a new freighter link.

The airport’s CEO noted there were economic uncertainty in many markets, made worse by lacklustre business and consumer confidence, that could dampen travel demand in the near term in 2016.

“However, low fuel prices should support airlines’ profitability. The outlook for Changi is also bolstered by positive developments such as the addition of new city links and airlines in the coming months. These include Singapore Airlines’ new services to Dusseldorf, Canberra and Wellington in the second half of this year, as well as the arrival of Fiji Airways’ new direct service from Nadi in April,” he concluded.inside-no-71inside-no-72