Singapore’s Changi Airport handled a record number of passengers in 2014.
Releasing its full-year traffic results today, Changi Airport Group (CAG) revealed that the airport recorded 54.1 million passenger movements in 2014, the most in its 33-year history and breaking its previous record of 53.7m set in 2013.
The annual growth rate of 0.7% however, was significantly lower than the 5% increase seen in 2013, and flight movements at Changi actually declined slightly in 2014, to 341,390.
Lee Seow Hiang, CEO of CAG, said 2014 was a “challenging year” for his airport, and the aviation industry.
“Several unforeseen events depressed travel demand, creating a difficult operating environment,” Lee said. “CAG responded quickly to the external situation by introducing the Growth and Assistance Incentive (GAIN) programme to provide temporary cost relief for our airline partners as well as to encourage them to collaborate with us to explore new ideas to stimulate passenger traffic.
“We are hopeful that 2015 will be a better year for aviation in the region. Travel demand is recovering steadily for markets like Thailand and China. Lower fuel costs will also help to alleviate cost pressures for airlines. The new year has started on a positive note for Changi Airport, with Air New Zealand commencing its services to Singapore on 6 January,” he added.
The growth of traffic at Changi was driven by demand for flights to and from the South Asia and Northeast Asia regions, which rose 6.0% and 4.0% respectively. But Changi said these gains were offset by weaker performances on European and Southeast Asian routes.
Accounting for more than 7.5m passengers in 2014, Indonesia remained the airport’s top country market in 2014, followed by Malaysia, Australia, Thailand and China. The top five destinations, in order, were Jakarta, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Manila.
Changi Airport welcomed six new carriers in 2014, with MIAT Mongolian Airlines and Uzbekistan Airways boosting connectivity to Central Asia and Jetstar Pacific, Malindo Air, Tigerair Taiwan and VietJet Air adding more low-cost links across Southeast Asia.