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Singapore's air passenger traffic at 31% of pre-pandemic numbers

Singapore's air passenger traffic at 31% of pre-pandemic numbers

Travellers at the departure hall in Changi Airport Terminal 1. (File photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Air passenger traffic in Singapore is now at 31 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, with the country seeing 400,000 passengers for the week ending Apr 17, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Monday (Apr 18). 

This is up from 18 per cent a month ago, CAAS added, noting the increase follows the reopening of Singapore’s borders to all fully vaccinated travellers at the beginning of this month. 

It also said that Singapore is on track to restoring 50% of pre-COVID passenger volume by this year.

In a press release on Monday, CAAS described the increase in air passenger traffic as "broad based".

"Traffic volume increased for all major markets, with particularly strong growth for traffic to and from Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand," the agency said. 

"Direct traffic increased for both international and local travellers, with Singapore citizens and permanent residents making up 32 per cent of total direct traffic," it added. 

The number of passenger flights also increased to 38 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in the week ending Apr 17, up from 29 per cent a month ago.

CAAS noted the frequency of flights to and from Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam had "increased significantly".

It added that three airlines - Air New Zealand, Myanmar Airways International and Indonesia's Batik Air - had restarted scheduled passenger flights to the country, while air links were also re-established with five cities - Cairns, Da Nang, Kota Kinabalu, Madurai and Riyadh.

Travel restrictions introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 had earlier seen passenger movement at Changi Airport plummet. For instance, in April 2020 after Singapore closed its borders to travellers, it stood at 0.4 per cent of what it was at the start of that year.

CAAS director-general Han Kok Juan said the agency expected numbers to increase further, especially during the upcoming May Day-Hari Raya Puasa long weekend as well as the June school holidays.

“The CAAS is working with the airport operator, aviation companies and unions to ramp up operations and manpower to support the higher traveller volumes," he said.

"We also advise travellers to come to the airport early and to cater more time for departure check-in and arrival baggage collection.”

CAAS added it was working with the aviation community to "ramp up operations and manpower to meet demand" as air travel recovers this year. 

In line with this, the agency is organising an industry-wide careers promotion and recruitment event from May 27 to May 28 at the Suntec City Convention Centre.

"The two-day event will include themed career talks showcasing the wide career offerings in the aviation sector, in service, operations and engineering jobs as well as new careers in technology and sustainability," CAAS said. 

Visitors will also be able to sign up for on-site interviews conducted by employers at the event, it added, noting exhibitors include Singapore Airlines, SATS, dnata, Changi Airport Group and Rolls Royce. 

Source: CNA/az(gr)

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