Changi soars with 6.2% growth in Jan-Sept traffic

Changi Airport handled 43.5 million passengers from January to September. The total for last year was a record 55.4 million passengers.
Changi Airport handled 43.5 million passengers from January to September. The total for last year was a record 55.4 million passengers.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Airport looking at its strongest performance in three years if it does keep up momentum

Changi Airport looks set to end the year strongly, with growth in passenger numbers already seen in the first nine months of the year.

From January to September, it handled 43.5 million passengers, 6.2 per cent more than the total traffic for the same period last year.

With demand for air travel typically strong in the last quarter, Changi should be able to maintain the momentum, said industry experts.

If it does keep up the momentum, the airport is looking at its strongest performance in three years.

Last year, Changi handled a record 55.4 million passengers, which was 2.5 per cent more than in 2014. The year before that, growth was just 0.7 per cent.

In an update yesterday, Changi Airport Group said so far this year, all its top 10 country markets have posted year-on-year growth.

Indonesia, Malaysia and China took the top three spots.

Jakarta continued to be Changi Airport's busiest route, followed closely by Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

Between January and September, air traffic controllers handled 268,190 aircraft landings and takeoffs at Changi - 4.2 per cent more than a year ago.

Cargo shipments totalled 1.44 million tonnes during the same period, which is 5.5 per cent higher compared to the same period last year.

This was the fastest pace of growth in the past five years, the airport said.

Despite a slowing of the global economy, the demand for air travel is expected to be strong in the long term, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has said.

In 2035, global passenger traffic is expected to hit 7.2 billion, almost double the 3.8 billion forecast for this year.

"People want to fly," said Iata director-general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac earlier this month.

Iata had said the biggest driver of demand will be the Asia-Pacific region, which provides good opportunities for airports and airlines in the region.

Changi Airport is already planning for the expected rise in demand, with plans for the opening of Terminal 4 next year and Terminal 5 before the end of the next decade.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2016, with the headline 'Changi soars with 6.2% growth in Jan-Sept traffic'. Print Edition | Subscribe