LONDON – In June 2022, Singapore’s hub Changi Airport recorded a massive 2.39 million passengers. This number is 50.3% of the pre-Covid traffic in June of 2019.
This is an impressive milestone and signifies that traffic is recovering at the South East Asian Hub. This overall movement includes landing and take-off at 18,400 movements, and this is 58.6% compared to this time in 2019. Air freight movement rate, however, also unexpectedly made gains, and recorded a 1.4% year-on-year increase.
On a quarterly basis, the airport recorded 7.33 million passengers from April to June of 2022, and this is 42.6% of pre-pandemic levels, or impressively 14 times compared to the same quarter of 2021.
Aircraft movements registered at 50,000 in the same quarterly or at 53.5% of pre-COVID level or 96.8% year-on-year. Nevertheless, passenger traffic to and from North America rebounded impressively and crossed the pre-pandemic threshold by 7.13%.
This sizeable rebound was in part from the introduction of flights to and from Vancouver by Singapore Airlines in December 2021. Fortunately, flights to and from Europe, Australasia and South Asia also witnessed a strong recovery during the quarter, with passenger movements reaching 60% of levels which was recorded in the April-June 2019 time frame.
In the second quarter of 2022, air cargo activity was recorded at 469,000 tonnes, which is a decline year-on-year of 1.4%. The ripple effect from the Covid-19 lockdowns in China, and the prolonged geopolitical tensions are also felt here at Changi Airport, and it is reflected by the numbers of the year-on-year growth.
Nevertheless, the top cargo markets were China, Hong Kong, the United States of America, Japan and Australia.
Changi Airport Group’s Managing Director for Air Hub Development Mr Lim Ching Kiat, stated with optimism: “We are encouraged by the steady increase in passenger traffic as it is a sign that we are getting back on the trajectory of growth towards pre-pandemic levels.”
“The reopening of Terminal 4 and partial opening of Terminal 2 will give us the capacity to support our airline partners’ efforts in restarting services and launching new routes, which are critical for us to capture post-pandemic demand for air travel.”
Almost back to normal
As of the end of the second quarter, approximately 85 operators have flown 4,400 weekly scheduled flights. Like any other airports in the region, are waiting for the Chinese market to recover gradually, this means that normal pre-Covid figures will never return to normal unless this market re-opens.
Singapore Changi Airport is keen to become of the key players in the region as it moves forward on the expansion of Terminal 5, as it bets its future on brighter post-pandemic traffic.