The year 2015 proved successful for Singapore Changi Airport, which hit new records in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft movements, handling 55.4 million passengers and 346,330 landings and take-offs – a rise of 2.5 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.
In December 2015, the transport hub registered a total of 5.29 million passenger movements (up 3.9 per cent year-on-year), representing the most traffic the airport has ever achieved in a single month since its opening in 1981.
Adding to this, Singapore Changi Airport’s daily record was also broken on the Saturday before Christmas (December 19, 2015), with more than 192,000 passengers passing through.
On the whole, traffic was positive for most of the hub’s top 10 country markets with Thailand (up 12.5 per cent), Vietnam (up 7.2 per cent) and China (up seven per cent) registering the strongest growth. Traffic to Singapore was also impacted by the strength of the Singapore Dollar against a number of regional currencies.
The airport’s busiest routes included Jakarta, which continued to top the list with 3.79 million passenger movements last year, followed by Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Manila.
In 2015, Bangkok represented 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.
Throughout the year the airport welcome seven new carriers including: the return of Air New Zealand, which boosted capacity on the Singapore-Auckland route; Batik Air, Thai Lion Air and Myanmar National Airlines, all of which strengthened Changi’s connectivity within Southeast Asia; and My Indo Airlines, Polar Air Cargo and AirBridgeCargo, all of which enhanced the hub’s cargo network.
Changi Airport incorporated nine new destinations into its portfolio in 2015. These included four new Chinese city links: Changchun, Quanzhou, Sanya and Yinchuan; and new services to Cairns in Australia, Lucknow in India, Luang Prabang in Laos, Pattaya (U-Tapao) in Thailand and Cincinnati in the US (a new freighter link).
Last November, the airport scooped its 500th Best Airport award, which joined 28 other ‘Best Airport’ awards acquired throughout the year, including the World’s Best Airport accolade at the 2015 Skytrax World Airport Awards, an honour Changi achieved for the third year in a row and the sixth time in its history.
Group CEO, Changi Airport, Lee Seow Hiang enthused “Following 2014, which saw a number of 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. Nevertheless, we pressed on to actively woo new airlines and seek growth opportunities with existing ones, and our efforts have yielded some positive outcomes. 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 five per cent for the second half of the year.
“Going forward, economic uncertainty in many markets, made worse by lacklustre business and consumer confidence, may dampen travel demand in the near term. 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 added.