SINGAPORE: Singapore's Changi Airport handled 10 million passengers in the third quarter of the year, reaching 58.1 per cent of its pre-COVID traffic, Changi Airport Group (CAG) said on Saturday (Oct 29).
In a news release, the group added that passenger movements for its largest source market, Southeast Asia, exceeded 60 per cent of pre-pandemic levels for the first time since the onset of COVID-19.
It also saw 61,100 aircraft movements, or 63.7 per cent of its pre-pandemic levels, during the quarter. This number includes takeoffs and landings at the airport.
Changi Airport clocked 3.42 million passengers in September, representing 62.6 per cent of its pre-COVID traffic in the same month in 2019.
There were 20,400 aircraft movements in the same month. This is 65.6 per cent of the levels in September 2019, CAG said.
Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Thailand were the top traffic markets for the quarter.
CAG added that passenger traffic to and from North America "continued to trend above pre-pandemic levels, driven by strong demand and increased frequencies by Singapore Airlines and United Airlines".
The group's managing director for air hub development Lim Ching Kiat said he expects Changi Airport to handle 80 per cent of pre-COVID flights by the end of the year, as more borders reopen and travel recovery picks up pace.
"This month also marks a significant milestone for the airport, with Changi operating all four terminals after more than two years.
"We continue to work closely with our airline partners to increase flight frequencies and connectivity to better serve our passengers," said Mr Lim.
Airfreight movements totalled 470,000 tonnes in the July to September quarter, a decline of 6 per cent year-on-year. In September, airfreight throughput fell 10 per cent year-on-year, registering 154,000 tonnes.
"Air cargo demand has weakened in recent months amid global economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures," said CAG.
The top air cargo markets for the quarter were China, Australia, the United States, Hong Kong and Japan.
Changi Airport also strengthened its passenger flight connectivity to North Asia in the third quarter of the year, with budget carrier Air Premia starting passenger services to Seoul and Scoot resuming services to Fuzhou, China.
Bhutan's national flag carrier Drukair resumed scheduled services in this period as well. The airline is the sole operator from Singapore to Dili in East Timor, Guwahati in India and Paro in Bhutan.
Additionally, the airport welcomed two new passenger airlines - New Caledonia's flag carrier Aircalin to Noumea and low-cost carrier Citilink to Jakarta - in July and October respectively. A new scheduled freighter operator, Atlas Air, also launched a weekly Singapore-Narita-Dallas service in July.
According to CAG, 89 airlines operate more than 4,800 weekly scheduled flights at Changi Airport as of Oct 1, connecting Singapore to about 130 cities in 48 countries and territories worldwide.