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Changi Airport’s 1Q2024 passenger traffic exceeds pre-Covid levels

Bryan Wu
Bryan Wu • 3 min read
Changi Airport’s 1Q2024 passenger traffic exceeds pre-Covid levels
China's visa-exemption helped the country reclaim pole position among Changi’s key markets in the first quarter of the year. Photo: Changi Airport Group
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Singapore’s Changi Airport registered 16.5 million passenger movements in the first three months of 2024, surpassing pre-Covid levels registered in the first quarter of 2019 by 0.5%.

The airport handled 5.43 million, 5.35 million and 5.73 million passenger movements in January, February and March, respectively. These were 96%, 104.3% and 101.7% compared to the corresponding months in 2019.

For the quarter, aircraft movements totalled 89,400, forming 94% of 1Q2019 movements, as traffic to and from most regions recovered to or surpassed 2019 levels. North America showed the strongest growth in 1Q2024, with traffic exceeding pre-Covid levels by 25%.

Meanwhile, Changi Airport’s top five markets for the quarter were China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and Thailand. A mutual 30-day visa-exemption arrangement between Singapore and China launched on Feb 9 boosted travel between the two countries, propelling China to Changi’s top market. 

Denpasar in Bali, Manila, Taipei, Seoul and Shanghai were among the top 10 cities which outperformed pre-Covid levels by more than 10% in 1Q2024. 

For the same period, airfreight throughput increased 14% y-o-y to 475,000 tonnes, marking the first quarter of y-o-y growth after seven consecutive quarters of decline. 

See also: Emirates to begin using sustainable aviation fuel on flights leaving Changi Airport

The growth was largely attributed to strong transshipment performance, especially for flows with China. Changi’s top five air cargo markets were Australia, China, Hong Kong, India and the US in 1Q2024. 

Lim Ching Kiat, Changi Airport Group’s (CAG) executive vice president for air hub and cargo development, says: “We are delighted to report that passenger movements in 1Q2024 have surpassed pre-Covid volumes. This follows a steady recovery of 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. 

“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.

See also: Singapore Air offers US$10,000 for minor injuries after turbulence

In April, Changi Airport saw the commencement of two new passenger service routes — Air Canada’s Vancouver-Singapore service launched on April 4 and Singapore Airlines C6L -

’ Singapore-Brussels service on April 5. 

Scoot also received the delivery of its first Embraer jets on April 15, which will enable the airline to expand its network to more regional destinations.

On the cargo front, Changi Airport welcomed two new freighter airlines, Shandong Airlines and Air Incheon, which started four weekly Shenzhen-Singapore services on Feb 28 and two weekly Seoul-Haikou-Singapore services on March 5, respectively.

As at April 1, 95 airlines operate over 6,800 weekly scheduled flights at Changi Airport, connecting Singapore to 153 cities in 48 countries and territories worldwide.

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