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Changi Airport handled record 53.7 million passengers in 2013

Changi Airport Group said traffic to Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia accounted for close to 70 per cent of Changi Airport's total passenger traffic last year.

SINGAPORE: Singapore Changi Airport handled a record 53.7 million passengers, and some 344, 000 landings and take-offs in 2013.

Cargo volumes, however, remained stable at 1.85 million tonnes. This is a 0.8 per cent increase from the previous year.

This year, Changi Airport Group is forecasting a five per cent increase in passenger traffic.

Passenger and aircraft traffic at Changi Airport reached record highs last year. Passenger movement was up five per cent from the year before while landings and take-offs rose by 5.9 per cent, supported by strong growth in key markets like China and India.

In the last 12 months, Changi Airport Group acquired eight new Chinese city links, making Changi the most connected South East Asian Airport to China with 31 city links.

The airport's busiest routes were to Jakarta, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Manila.

Indonesia continues to be Changi's top country market, with more than 7.4 million passengers passing through during the year, an 8.8 per cent increase.

And the group is working towards expanding connections in the region to boost passenger traffic.

Lim Ching Kiat, senior vice president of market development at Changi Airport Group, said: "We're actively working with airlines to see how to establish new routes to grow, as well as working with airlines to see how to grow more transfer traffic in Changi.

"The key markets that were strong this year, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia, will continue to be our engines of growth and we continue to see strong growth in these two areas in the coming year."

Traffic to Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia, which accounts for close to 70 per cent of Changi Airport's total, rose 8.2 per cent and 7.0 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, the group aims to improve runway capacity by up to 40 per cent over the coming years In the run-up to the airport's third runway to be opened in 2020.

Mr Lim said: "Changi Airport is working quite closely with the air traffic controllers and with the airlines to see how we can get more capacity and efficiency from the current runway operations. For example by improve the separation between flights and reducing aircraft occupancy time on the runway."

Outlook for cargo continues to be soft, as airlines face the pressure of declining yields.

To help ease costs, Changi Airport Group will offer landing fee rebates and incentives amounting to S$18 million for its next financial year ending 31 March 2015.

The group will also be focusing on certain niche markets like perishables and express cargo. 

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