Singapore Changi Airport passenger traffic inches close to pre-pandemic levels

Singapore Changi Airport handled 58.9 million passenger movements in 2023, representing 86 per cent of the traffic recorded in 2019, with traffic in October to December alone achieving a 90 per cent recovery with 16.1 million passenger movements.

Aircraft movements, which include landings and take-offs, totalled 328,000, as compared to 382,000 in 2019.

Changi Airport’s passenger traffic between October and December last year saw a 90 per cent recovery

Compared against pre-Covid passenger traffic, the North America region posted the strongest growth in 2023, exceeding 2019 levels by more than 25 per cent, while Europe, South-west Pacific and South Asia are close to full recovery, registering over 90 per cent of 2019 traffic.

Throughout the year, all regions continued to register strong recovery. North-east Asia was the forerunner, with passenger traffic increasing more than four times that of 2022, largely due to a significant increase in travel between China and Singapore. South-east Asia posted the second strongest growth during the year, registering a 72 per cent year-on-year growth.

Changi Airport’s top five passenger markets for the year were Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Thailand and India.

Among Changi’s top 10 markets, China, Japan and South Korea were the fastest growing compared to 2022. With the easing of travel restrictions, China regained its spot in Changi’s top 10 markets, closing the year at number six with close to four million passenger movements. Passenger traffic between Japan and Singapore tripled compared to 2022, while South Korea traffic exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 36 per cent, making it the market with the strongest rebound compared to pre-Covid traffic.

Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur, Thailand’s Bangkok, Indonesia’s Jakarta and Denpasar (Bali), as well as the Philippines’ Manila were Changi Airport’s busiest routes during the year with the Kuala Lumpur route being the world’s busiest international route based on seat capacity.

“2023 was an invigorating year, as we witnessed the resounding resumption of travel across the world, as well as the full reopening of Changi Airport’s Terminal 2. The upswing in travel was fuelled by strong outbound travel demand, as well as growing inbound travel,” commented Lim Ching Kiat, executive vice president for air hub and cargo development, Changi Airport Group.

“The growth in passenger traffic was especially strong in Asia, with an acceleration seen in the last quarter. Changi Airport also resumed connections to more than 10 cities this year, including Addis Ababa, Changsha, Ningbo, Kaohsiung, and Okinawa. We have restored almost 90 per cent of our pre-Covid city links to date, with Changi Airport now the fifth busiest airport in the world by seat capacity.”

Last year, Changi Airport welcomed three new passenger airlines into the Changi family – Air Macau, Firefly and TransNusa – and added two new passenger city links to its network – Bhubaneswar (India) and Sanya (China). Changi Airport also established its first link to Beijing Daxing Airport via China Eastern Airlines. Through a three-year partnership between Singapore Tourism Board, TUI Airways and Marella Cruises, Changi Airport will welcome fly-cruise passengers from the UK to Singapore between December to April each season, for three years till 2026. TUI Airways operates thrice-weekly services from London-Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham.

During the year, Air Canada announced its return to Changi Airport after more than 30 years, and will commence its four times a week non-stop Vancouver-Singapore service in April 2024.

Singapore Airlines will also launch new passenger services to Brussels and London Gatwick, commencing in April and June 2024 respectively.

As at January 2024, 93 airlines operate over 6,700 weekly scheduled flights at Changi Airport, connecting Singapore to 154 cities in 49 countries and territories worldwide.

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