Marked increase in passenger traffic through Changi Airport, Latest Travel News - The New Paper

Marked increase in passenger traffic through Changi Airport

The number of travellers passing through Changi Airport in the past week has reached 31 per cent of passenger traffic before the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was a marked increase from the 18 per cent mark a month ago, with the air hub's recovery now picking up pace following a broad reopening of Singapore's borders on April 1 to all travellers fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The growth in traffic shows the Republic is on track to achieve its target of restoring half of pre-Covid-19 passenger volume by the end of this year, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Monday (April 18).

It said that 400,000 air passengers passed through Singapore in the week ending on Sunday (April 17).

"Traffic volume increased for all major markets, with particularly strong growth for traffic to and from Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand," said CAAS.

"Direct traffic increased for both international and local travellers, with Singapore citizens and permanent residents making up 32 per cent of the total direct traffic."

CAAS also said that the number of passenger flights to and from Singapore in the last week has increased to 38 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. This is up from 29 per cent a month ago.

It added that the frequency of flights between Singapore and countries such as Australia and India has increased significantly.

CAAS is now working with the aviation community to ramp up operations and manpower to meet the recovering demand for air travel.

Its director-general Han Kok Juan said: "We are seeing good air travel recovery and expect numbers to further increase, especially in the upcoming May Day-Hari Raya Puasa long weekend and the June school holiday season.

"We... advise travellers to come to the airport early and to cater more time for departure check-in and arrival baggage collection."

Three million passengers passed through Changi Airport in 2021. This was just 4.4 per cent of the 68 million passenger movements registered in 2019, before the pandemic.

In the first two months of this year, 1.42 million passenger movements were registered - 13 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers.

CAAS had in March announced a target for air passenger volume through Singapore to reach 50 per cent of the levels before the pandemic by the end of this year.

Since then, it has made several moves to make air travel less cumbersome.

Travellers from all countries who are vaccinated against Covid-19 can now enter Singapore quarantine-free, as opposed to just those arriving from countries under the defunct Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme.

CAAS has removed an on-arrival Covid-19 test requirement, and is looking into removing a pre-departure Covid-19 test requirement.

The Singapore Tourism Board has also announced initiatives in a bid to lure more tourists back.

Close to half a billion dollars has been set aside to kick-start Singapore's tourism sector and bring travellers back as the Covid-19 pandemic comes under control and borders reopen.