Changi Airport Group extends rebate, more assistance to cargo partners as industry faces continued headwinds

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400F cargo plane at the Changi Aiport Cargo Terminal.
A Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400F cargo plane at the Changi Aiport Cargo Terminal.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Changi Airport Group (CAG) announced on Wednesday (Feb 17) a package of support measures totalling S$14 million for its cargo partners, aimed at reducing their costs amid a challenging outlook for the global airfreight industry.

The measures, which include a one-time Special Assistance Package (SAP) for cargo agents and the extension of a landing fee rebate for scheduled freighter flights will apply for a year starting from April 1, it said.

Currently, cargo agents leasing cargo facilities from CAG at the Changi Airfreight Centre enjoy an incentive scheme which rewards them based on the volume of cargo handled. This scheme will be extended to 2017 to help lower costs for cargo handlers while encouraging growth.

CAG will also be extending a one-time Special Assistance Package. With this, cargo agents that achieve strong growth will potentially be able to enjoy cost relief equivalent to a rebate of up to 45 per cent on their annual rental.

On top of this, CAG will be extending the existing 30 per cent landing fee rebate for scheduled freighter operations for another year to March 31, 2017.

Air cargo demand has been dampened by a tough global economic environment, feeble world trade and a slowdown in China's economy. Global airfreight volumes saw growth of only 2.2 per cent in 2015, slower than 2014, with all major regions recording weakness in airfreight traffic.3

Said Mr Lim Ching Kiat, senior vice-president for market development with Changi Airport Group: "The soft industry outlook is likely to continue in 2016, due to continued headwinds brought about by weaker economic conditions and slowing global trade. In light of the trying business conditions, we are committed to support our cargo partners through these difficult times. Amid the challenges, we hope that CAG's package of support measures for our cargo partners will serve as a source of optimism."

Changi Airport is among the world's top 10 airports for international airfreight movements. In 2015, it handled 1.85 million tonnes of cargo, a 0.5 per cent growth year-on-year, with the growth of transhipment volumes outweighing lower import and export volumes.

Three freighter airlines - My Indo Airlines, Polar Air Cargo and AirBridgeCargo - joined Changi's cargo network last year. Pharmaceuticals was one of the best performing cargo segments at Changi Airport last year, growing 45 per cent year-on-year, albeit from a small base.