Despite the global economic slowdown in the second half of 2008, Singapore Changi Airport handled a higher volume of passenger traffic, with 37.7 million passenger movements handled in 2008, up 2.7% from 2007.
Among the top 15 markets by passenger traffic, both regional and long-haul sectors registered growth. In the region, the sectors of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, grew 6.5%, 9.4%, 11.9% and 19.4% respectively, while the long-haul sectors of Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom grew 5.6%, 5% and 7%. Declines of 10.9% and 5.2% were registered in passenger traffic from Thailand and China.
The financial tsunami left its mark in the last four months of 2008. Passenger traffic declined in September, November and December due to negative sentiment and decreased travel demand. The impact of the economic crisis was more pronounced on the cargo front, where, compared to 2007, airfreight movements dipped 2% to register 1.86 million tonnes in 2008.
In 2008, Changi Airport continued to win awards including the Best Airport in the World award by Business Traveller (UK), which Changi has won 21 consecutive times, the Best Airport Worldwide and Best Airport in Asia awards from Business Traveller Germany, the Best International Airport award by Conde Nast Traveler and the World’s Leading Eco-friendly Airport award by World Travel Awards. The total of 29 awards in 2008 takes the total number of awards Changi has won to more than 300.
Crowne Plaza Hotel at Singapore Changi Airport opened in May 2008. It’s the first international upscale hotel to operate with direct access to Singapore’s Changi Airport’s Terminal 3.
CAAS’ Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Lim Kim Choon, said, “2008 has been a busy year for CAAS and Changi Airport, with highlights such as the opening of Terminal 3 and the inaugural Singapore Airshow. Upgrading works at Terminal 1 and the Budget Terminal also commenced. Besides registering higher passenger traffic, in terms of air connectivity, the Changi family also grew, with six new airlines coming on board and nine new city links.”
Mr Lim added, “Despite the difficult economic climate, Changi Airport has performed commendably in 2008. We acknowledge that 2009 will be a challenging year and recognise the tough operating environment that airlines and airport partners are operating in. CAAS is committed to help its partners at Changi ride out the downturn, through means such as the extension of the Air Hub Development Fund1.”
As at 1 January 2009, Changi Airport is served by 83 airlines operating more than 4,670 weekly scheduled flights to 190 cities in 60 countries.