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Routes 2012: Singapore Changi Airport eyes South America and Africa

Routes 2012: Singapore Changi Airport eyes South America and Africa The Singapore Changi Airport team at World Routes 2012

Singapore Changi Airport has been making a splash at World Routes 2012, where it is holding meetings with its airline partners and showcasing its latest developments.

Top of the agenda are the addition of new routes, continued network expansion and a major makeover of Terminal 1.

The leading airport also revealed its plans to tap into South America and Africa in coming months.

Singapore Changi Airport, one of the most celebrated airports in the world, handled some 4.28 million passenger movements in August 2012, an increase of 10.9 per cent compared to a year ago.

Air traffic movements for the month also grew by 6.5 per cent to 27,400 flights.

Demand for air travel to and from south-east Asia, south Asia, south-west Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas was strong, with double-digit growth registered for each of these regions.

For the first eight months of 2012, Changi Airport registered 33.6 million passenger movements, which was up 10.5 per cent compared to the previous year.

Mr Lim Ching Kiat, Changi Airport Group senior vice president for market development sees potential for more growth.

Singapore Changi Airport is one of the world’s most celebrated airports

He explained: “With new connections to Asian secondary cities coming on board in the near future, we believe there remains much room to grow.” 

In the past twelve months alone, Singapore Changi Airport established links to two new countries, Laos and Bhutan, bringing new connections for two new members in Changi’s family of airlines - Lao Airlines and Druk Air.

“Lao Airlines established thrice-weekly Vientiane-Singapore services in November 2011. 

“Changi Airport is now connected to all of Singapore’s neighbours within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),” explained Ching Kiat.

“More recently, Druk Air launched a new twice-weekly Bhutan-Kolkata-Singapore service on September 1st 2012.

“This service is significant as Singapore is only the second city in south-east Asia to enjoy air links with the Kingdom of Bhutan,” Ching Kiat added. 

In addition, Singapore’s newest carrier Scoot was launched this year and having already established new links for Changi such as Golf Coast in Australia and Tianjin in China.

More new services are planned for later this year.

“We are looking forward to the commencement of Scoot’s services to two other major cities in China, Shenyang and Qingdao, later this year,” added Ching Kiat. 

Next year will see the return of SWISS to Singapore, marking another vote of confidence for the destination.

Singapore Changi Airport will add its fifth direct link to the Philippines in November 2012 when Cebu Pacific begins direct services to Iloilo, a city in the Western Visayas region. 

In December 2012, Mandala Airlines will also strengthen Changi’s connectivity to Indonesia with the introduction of direct flights to Padang, the capital of West Sumatra.

Meanwhile Singapore will open its 12th direct link with India, when SilkAir begins services to the coastal city of Vishakhapatnam at the end of this year.

Graham Cooke, president of the World Travel Awards presents is Mr Teng Hwee Onn, Changi Airport Group’s Vice President for Engineering & Specialised Systems, Singapore Changi Airport with a coveted award during the 2011 Grand Final

So where next for Singapore Changi Airport, which was named World’s Leading Airport by the World Travel Awards in 2011?

“South America and Africa are regions we are working on to build greater connectivity,” explained Ching Kiat. 

Routes is the perfect forum to continue the discussions it has already opened with tourism partners and airlines to create demand in this market.

Ching Kiat explained: “We are speaking with some African carriers to launch services to Singapore and we hope to make an announcement in the near future.”

Ching Kiat also revealed the airport is witnessing strong demand from the Russian market, with origin-destination traffic growing by 40 per cent in 2011.

With all of this growth in the pipeline, there are plans for extending the airport with a new Terminal 4.

This follows on the back of the recent completion of a $500 million makeover of Terminal 1.

Terminal 1 at Changi Airport has recently undergone a $500m upgrade

“Looking ahead, we do not plan to rest on our laurels,” explained Lim Ching.

“When completed, the new terminal will offer a wide choice of retail and food & beverage offerings as well as passenger amenities that will better serve the needs of travellers.”

More than 100 airlines operate at Changi Airport, connecting Singapore to over 230 cities in some 60 countries and territories around the world.

With more than 6,200 weekly scheduled flights, an aircraft takes off or lands at Changi roughly once every 100 seconds.

World Travel Awards

On October 18th, the leading lights of the travel and tourism will be able to experience the thoughtful conveniences and warm personal service at Changi Airport, as the   World Travel Awards Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Ceremony will take place in Singapore.