Changi Airport handles record 55.4m passengers in 2015; 2.5% increase from year before

Passengers at the departure lounge of Changi Airport.
Passengers at the departure lounge of Changi Airport. ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW
Changi Airport handled a record 55.4 million passengers in 2015.
Changi Airport handled a record 55.4 million passengers in 2015.ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW

SINGAPORE - Changi Airport handled a record 55.4 million passengers last year, a 2.5 per cent increase from 2014.

The number of aircraft take-offs and landings grew by 1.4 per cent year-on-year to 346,330, Changi Airport Group said on Wednesday (Jan 27).

December was an especially busy month with 5.29 million passenger movements recorded, the highest ever for any single month since the airport opened in 1981.

Changi's top 10 markets last year by passenger traffic were Jakarta, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Manila, Tokyo, Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, Taipei and Sydney.

Last year also saw eight new carriers begin operations at Changi Airport.

They include Batik Air, Thai Lion Air and Myanmar National Airlines.

Ten new points, including Lucknow, India and Luang Prabang in Laos, were added to Changi's network.

The airport also celebrated its 500th best airport award in November.

Changi Airport Group chief executive Lee Seow Hiang, said: "2015 was a year of two halves for Changi Airport. 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."

But challenges remain, he stressed.

"Economic uncertainty in many markets, made worse by lacklustre business and consumer confidence, may dampen travel demand in the near term," he said. However, low fuel prices should boost 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, he said.

These include Singapore Airlines' new services to Dusseldorf in Germany as well as the arrival of Fiji Airways' new direct service from Nadi in April.

Asia also continues to present exciting growth opportunities, with untapped tourism potential in many parts and growing affluence in the emerging economies driving air travel.

Mr Lee said: "Changi Airport is well placed to capture future growth with our expanding network, including many secondary cities, to key markets like China, India and Indonesia. We will continue to work closely with our airline partners to establish new connections to develop the Singapore air hub and better serve our passengers."