SINGAPORE: The number of passengers passing through Singapore's Changi Airport has plummeted 70.7 per cent in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.
A total of 1.65 million passengers passed through the airport last month, compared to 5.63 million in March 2019, according to figures released by the Changi Airport Group on Friday (Apr 17).
Aircraft landings and takeoffs fell by 49.9 per cent to 16,200, compared with 32,400 in March last year.
For the last seven days of March, passenger movements at the airport were 98 per cent lower than they were a year ago. Flight movements were down 87 per cent.
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"Air travel demand remained significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with all regions recording steep declines in March," the airport said.
For April, the number of scheduled flights is about 96 per cent lower than what was originally scheduled, it added.
Airfreight throughput dropped 19.1 per cent to 149,000 tonnes for the month, due to a decrease in bellyhold capacity on passenger flights.
For the first quarter of the year, 11 million passengers passed through Changi Airport, a decline of 32.7 per cent year-on-year. Aircraft landings and takeoffs fell 20.1 per cent to 75,900, while airfreight throughout fell 8 per cent to 453,000 tonnes.
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The Singapore Government has set aside S$750 million of support for the aviation sector, with analysts noting that it will help the industry recover more quickly from the blow dealt to it by COVID-19.
Changi Airport's Terminal 2 will suspend operations for 18 months from May 1, allowing the airport – together with retailers, airlines and ground handling firms – to save on running costs during this time.
In March, short-term visitors were barred from entering or transiting through Singapore to reduce the risk of imported COVID-19 cases. Only work pass holders providing essential services, such as in healthcare and transport, and their dependents are allowed to enter or return to Singapore.