Airlines recognised for contributions to Changi Airport

Tigerair and Singapore Airlines (SIA) planes at Changi Airport.
Tigerair and Singapore Airlines (SIA) planes at Changi Airport.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Top airlines that propelled the growth of Changi Airport in 2015 were recognised for their contributions on Thursday (April 28) by Changi Airport Group (CAG).

CAG presented 23 awards across six categories to the aviation community at its annual Changi Airline Awards, which is now into its 11th year.

Chinese carrier Xiamen Airlines was named Partner of the Year, while Singapore Airlines, Tigerair, SilkAir, Jetstar Asia and AirAsia were the top five airlines in terms of passengers carried.

Singapore Airlines Cargo topped the list for the highest cargo volume, followed by FedEx Express, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines and Air Hong Kong.

Xiamen Airlines currently has the widest Singapore-China network, with flights to seven Chinese cities including Dalian, Fuzhou, and Tianjin, said CAG.

It is also the third largest airline for passenger carriage among Chinese carriers operating at Changi Airport, with more than 370,000 passengers recorded last year.

Over the past five years, it has achieved a compounded annual growth rate of 11 per cent in passenger traffic.

Last March, Xiamen Airlines added its fourth daily service (Xi'an-Hangzhou-Singapore), doubling its capacity on the Singapore-Hangzhou route.

The move was part of a three-year Memorandum of Collaboration inked between the airline and CAG to jointly grow traffic and connectivity between Singapore and China.

Said Chairman and CEO of Xiamen Airlines, Mr Che Shanglun: "Singapore has always been a strategic point in Xiamen Airlines' Southeast Asian network ... We look forward to continuing our strong collaboration with CAG to further the aviation development between Singapore and China."

New award winners Air France and Tri-MG Intra-Asia Airlines were among the strongest growing airlines for passenger and cargo carriage respectively.

It was "a year of resilience and recovery" for CAG, which noted a turnaround in passenger traffic in the second half of 2015 after showing flat growth in the first half.

Led by the recovery in intra-Asian travel, the group welcomed eight new scheduled airlines and 10 new city links to cap the year's annual passenger traffic growth at an all-time high of 2.5 per cent to 55.4 million passengers.

"The growth momentum has extended into 2016. We achieved growth of 10 per cent in the first quarter of this year, on the back of strong travel demand across all our major markets," said CAG chief executive Lee Seow Hiang.

He also welcomed Singapore Airlines' new services to Dusseldorf, Canberra and Wellington in the coming months.

"An improvement in global economic activity, stable oil prices and the delivery of longer range aircraft will present new growth opportunities for the industry," he said.