Changi Airport Flirting with 59 Million Passengers in 2016

Changi Airport recorded an all-time high of 58.7 million passengers last year, a growth of 5.9 per cent from 2015, Changi Airport Group announced yesterday.

Aircraft movements rose 4.1 per cent for the year to 360,490, while airfreight throughput increased by 6.3 per cent to a new high of 1.97 million tonnes.

The airport’s busiest day in its history was on December 23, with 202,359 passengers passing through its gates. For the month of December alone, Changi handled 5.68 million passengers, up 7.2 per cent from 2015.

Routes to Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and the Pacific Rim contributed 90 per cent of the growth in passenger traffic last year.

China moved from fifth to become Changi Airport’s third-largest country market, a growth of 15 per cent. Visitor arrivals from Thailand and Vietnam also grew, up 6 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, from 2015.

Jakarta remained Changi’s busiest route, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Among Changi Airport’s top 20 city links, Guangzhou was the fastest growing (+ 21%), with Melbourne, Penang and Seoul also achieving double-digit growth.

New destinations included Amritsar and Jaipur in India, Urumqi in China, the Australian capital Canberra, Wellington in New Zealand, Nadi in Fiji, Sapporo in Japan and Dusseldorf in Germany. San Francisco was turned also into a non-stop destinations with flights from both Singapore Airlines and United Airlines.

Two new passengers’ airlines started operations last year: West Air and Fiji Airways.

“Despite a backdrop of economic and socio-political uncertainties, we maintain a positive outlook for the year ahead,” said Changi Airport Group CEO Lee Seow Hiang. “We see opportunities in emerging markets within Africa and Eastern Europe.

“At the same time, we’ll continue to grow our long-haul routes to Western Europe, and strengthen our connectivity within the region to secondary cities in Southeast Asia, China and India.”

Changi Airport is the world’s sixth busiest airport for international traffic, based on 2015 figures, and is expected to open its fourth terminal later this year.