SINGAPORE: The Changi Airport Group (CAG) on Wednesday (Jan 27) said it posted new benchmarks for passenger traffic and aircraft movements, with 55.4 million passengers passing through Changi Airport last year - a 2.5 per cent increase over the previous year.
In December alone, the airport operator said there were a total of 5.29 million passenger movements, representing the highest ever traffic the airport has achieved in a month since it opened in 1981. The daily passenger movement record was also broken on the Saturday before Christmas, with more than 192,000 passengers passing through that day.
As for aircraft movement, there were 346,330 landings and take-offs last year, representing a 1.4 per cent on-year increase, the operator added.
Thailand (+12.5 per cent), Vietnam (+7.2 per cent) and China (+7 per cent) were the ones registering the strongest growth for the airport's top 10 country markets, it said. However, there was a softer showing for Indonesia (-7.3 per cent) and Hong Kong (-1.2 per cent).
"While the broader trend for air travel was positive, traffic to Singapore was impacted by the strength of the Singapore dollar against some regional currencies," CAG said.
As for airfreight movements, the operator said the total cargo throughput was "little changed" at 1.85 million tonnes for the year. There were pockets of growth in niche segments though, such as a 44 per cent increase in pharmaceuticals cargo, it said.
Changi Airport Group CEO Lee Seow Hiang said: “Going forward, economic uncertainty in many markets, made worse by lacklustre business and consumer confidence, may dampen travel demand in the near term. However, low fuel prices should support airlines’ profitability.
"The outlook for Changi is also bolstered by positive developments such as the addition of new city links and airlines in the coming months. These include Singapore Airlines’ new services to Dusseldorf, Canberra and Wellington in the second half of this year, as well as the arrival of Fiji Airways’ new direct service from Nadi in April."
He added that Asia continues to present "exciting" growth opportunities, and CAG will work with its airline partners to establish new connections to develop the Singapore air hub.