Singapore Changi airport handled a record-breaking 65.6 million passengers in 2018, surpassing the 62.2 million passengers that passed through the facility in 2017.
The airport also handled 386,000 aircraft movements, up 3.4%.
Changi Airport Group (CAG) notes that passenger traffic to Europe, South Asia, the Americas, and Africa grew by double-digit rates over the year. Among Changi's top 10 markets, India and Japan had the strongest growth rates of 12% and 10% respectively, followed by China and Vietnam, which were both up 7%.
GX Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, and Shandong Airlines started services to Singapore over the new year, with new links to Nanchang, Guwahati, Pune, Vijayawada and Tanjung Pandan, Berlin and Warsaw added. Singapore Airlines also resumed non-stop services to Los Angeles and New York.
"We are pleased with the introduction of new city links, as well as the growth of long haul routes from Changi airport, including the launch of the world’s longest service between Singapore and New York. Non-stop services to the United States have now doubled to 40 per week, providing greater convenience to our passengers," says CAG's managing director for air hub development Lim Ching Kiat.
Air freight throughput slowed somewhat, up only 1.4% to 2.15 million tonnes, compared to a 7.9% growth rate in 2017. The top five country airfreight markets were Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, and the United States.
CAG has embarked on a new initiative to work with travel agents in offering charter flights to Guiyang and Zunyi in China. Other Chinese destinations such as Yancheng, Yichang, and Zhangjiajie are also being explored.
"We expect 2019 to pose challenges include rising fuel prices and trade tensions. While these potential headwinds may impact the industry, demand for air travel in the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to grow steadily," adds Lim.