Changi passenger traffic rises 6.3 per cent in January

Passengers wait in line to check in at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

SINGAPORE - Changi Airport's strong 2013 performance continued into the new year, with passenger traffic increasing 6.3 per cent year on year in January.

The airport handled 4.6 million passengers last month, driven by a "healthy increase in air travel between Singapore and South-east Asia, North-east Asia, Southwest Pacific and the Middle East", said operator Changi Airport Group (CAG) in a statement on Monday.

Air traffic movements were correspondingly higher, with 30,400 takeoffs and landings in January, 7.6 per cent more than a year ago.

During the month, air shipment volumes at Changi were higher, largely due to an earlier Chinese New Year period this year, CAG said.

Some 151,400 tonnes of cargo was processed at the airport last month, a 3.8 per cent year-on-year increase.

In terms of passenger traffic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia remained some of the airport's top markets. The airport recorded double-digit growth for travel to and from these places.

However, passenger traffic to Bangkok - Changi's second-largest market by passenger numbers last year - fell 25 per cent year on year in January. The Thai capital has been hit by a series of political protests since November.

New services launched at Changi this year include Tigerair's four times weekly flights to Maldives that started a month ago.

The airport also opened its first pay-per-use lounge outside the immigration zone, The Haven, in Terminal 3 earlier this month.

Changi Airport had a record 2013, handling over 53.7 million passengers and some 343,800 aircraft movements during the year, making it one of the five busiest international airports worldwide.

More than 100 airlines fly to Changi, linking Singapore to 280 cities in about 60 countries and territories globally, with more than 6,900 weekly scheduled flights.

Get The Business Times for more stories.