Changi Airport’s Air Cargo Operations See Remarkable Rebound

Changi Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports by international passenger and cargo traffic in the first quarter of 2024, witnessed its air freight operations surge with aircraft movements totaling 89,400, representing a significant 94% of 1Q2019 levels. Notably, North America spearheaded this resurgence, surpassing pre-Covid levels by an impressive 25%.

The key markets for the airport during this period were China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and Thailand, with a notable boost in travel between Singapore and China following the introduction of a mutual 30-day visa-exemption arrangement on February 9.

Cities like Denpasar in Bali, Manila, Taipei, Seoul, and Shanghai stood out among the top 10 performers, each surpassing pre-Covid levels by more than 10% in 1Q2024.

In a significant turnaround, airfreight throughput witnessed a remarkable 14% year-on-year increase, totaling 475,000 metric tons. This marks the first quarter of year-on-year growth after seven consecutive quarters of decline. The surge was primarily fueled by robust transshipment performance, notably with China.

Changi Airport’s leading air cargo markets in 1Q2024 were Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, and the US, underscoring the airport’s pivotal role in global air freight operations.

“We are delighted to report that passenger movements in 1Q2024 have surpassed pre-Covid volumes. This follows a steady recovery in travel in the past year. CAG has worked closely with airline partners to reinstate flights suspended during the pandemic and add new flights at Changi Airport.

Lim Ching Kiat, Executive Vice President for Air Hub and Cargo Development, Changi Airport Group’s (CAG)

“The strong traffic performance this quarter was boosted by the hosting of many music concerts in Singapore and the relaxing of visa requirements between China and Singapore. CAG will continue to collaborate with our airline and travel trade partners to tap into the strong travel momentum in the region. Our goal is to achieve 100% traffic recovery this year. We will also introduce new airline brands and destinations to Singapore,” he adds.

During April, Changi Airport celebrated the inauguration of two new passenger service routes. Air Canada launched its Vancouver-Singapore service on April 4, followed by Singapore Airlines’ Singapore-Brussels service on April 5. Additionally, Scoot welcomed the delivery of its inaugural Embraer jets on April 15, poised to enhance its regional network connectivity.

On the cargo front, Changi Airport embraced the arrival of two new freighter airlines: Shandong Airlines and Air Incheon. Shandong Airlines commenced four weekly Shenzhen-Singapore services starting February 28, while Air Incheon initiated two weekly Seoul-Haikou-Singapore services on March 5.

As of April 1, a total of 95 airlines operate over 6,800 weekly scheduled flights at Changi Airport, facilitating connectivity between Singapore and 153 cities across 48 countries and territories worldwide.

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