Busy first half of the year for Changi Airport, another record breaking year on the cards

For the first half of 2018, Changi Airport handled 32.1 million passengers, which is 5.5 per cent higher than during the same period in 2017.
For the first half of 2018, Changi Airport handled 32.1 million passengers, which is 5.5 per cent higher than during the same period in 2017.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - It has been a busy first half of the year for Changi Airport, with more people travelling as airlines continue to add new flights and destinations.

In all, the airport handled 32.1 million passengers between January and June, 5.5 per cent higher than during the same period last year.

Changi looks set for another record breaking year at this rate and with some carriers including the Singapore Airlines (SIA) group already planning to add even more capacity to and from Singapore, industry experts said.

Last year, 62.2 million passengers walked through Changi's gates, making it the world's sixth busiest airport for international traffic.

Reporting its first-half tally as it unveiled June's numbers, Changi Airport Group said on Tuesday (July 24) that total passenger traffic last month hit 5.57 million, a 6.9 per cent jump from the same month a year ago.

Particularly strong was the demand for Singapore-Europe flights with passenger traffic growing by almost 20 per cent year-on-year.

This was due in part to LOT Polish Airlines starting a new Singapore-Warsaw connection in June.

Other airlines including Australia's Qantas and Germany's Lufthansa have also added new flights to and from Singapore.

Between January and June, nine of Changi's top 10 markets - Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Australia, India, the Philippines, Japan and Vietnam - recorded higher traffic. India registered the strongest growth of 13 per cent.

During the six months, aircraft movements also rose by 4.2 per cent to 190,970 take offs and landings, while airfreight volumes grew 2.7 per cent to 1.04 million tonnes.

Traffic should continue to be at least as strong in the second half of the year, said Mr Brendan Sobie, a Singapore-based aviation analyst at the Centre for Aviation.

"We expect to continue to see double digit growth in the Europe market until the early part of next year...Changi grew it's passenger traffic by about 6 per cent in 2016 and 2017 and it should be about the same again this year," he said.

 

Ms Alicia Seah, Dynasty Travel's director of marketing communications, said: "We are seeing very strong booking figures and growth for year-end travel. Typically, the second half of the year accounts for about 65 per cent of our total annual revenue so there will definitely be more activity at Changi Airport as well."

"Apart from current scheduled services, we are also preparing for special charter and additional flights that airlines will be mounting to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan later this year," she added.