Changi welcomed 4.49m passengers in October, up 1.9 per cent

Boosted by robust passenger traffic to and from South Asia, passenger numbers at Changi Airport increased 1.9 per cent year-on-year in October to 4.49 million.

Airport operator Changi Airport Group (CAG) said: "Passenger traffic to and from South Asia was particularly strong during the month, rising 14 per cent on year, with India traffic increasing 17 per cent."

Traffic from Thailand edged up 1 per cent, turning a corner after 11 months of decline.

Travellers had been been avoiding the Land of Smiles since political tensions escalated there and culminated in the military taking control of the country earlier this year.

Passenger movements between Singapore and China also registered an uptick, growing five per cent, said CAG. Demand for travel out of that country had slid in the aftermath of this year's twin Malaysia Airlines tragedies, which affected arrivals in Singapore as well because Chinese travellers typically combine Malaysia and Singapore for a multi-destination tour.

Demand for services to and from Hong Kong and Vietnam rose seven per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

Aircraft landings and takeoffs in Changi in October fell 3.7 per cent to 28,380; airfreight movements rose 2.1 per cent to 159,700 tonnes of cargo.

Among the new services launched recently at Changi are those run by Vietnam-based Jetstar Pacific and Malaysia-based Malindo Air.

Jetstar Pacific started a daily service to Ho Chi Minh on Oct 27; Vietnam Airlines began a twice-weekly service to Phu Quoc on Nov 2.

Malindo Air, a joint venture between Malaysia's National Aerospace and Defence Industries and Indonesia's budget carrier Lion Air, started three daily services to Kuala Lumpur on Nov 3.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines' regional wing SilkAir boosted frequencies to Kuala Lumpur to 52 times weekly for the northern winter season, and SriLankan Airlines raised frequencies to Colombo to 19 times weekly.

More than 100 airlines operate at Changi Airport, linking Singapore to more than 300 cities through some 6,400 weekly scheduled flights.

This article was first published on November 26, 2014. Get The Business Times for more stories.