Changi saw its traffic dip slightly last year from 37.8 million to 37.2 million passengers. But director of corporate communications Ivan Tan says so far 2010 "has been a pretty strong year for us" with double-digit growth through the first seven months. He says year-over year growth for the rest of 2010 is expected to moderate and only be in the single digits, pointing out the recovery for Changi began in August 2009. But as long as there is some growth the rest of the year, which is expected, "we'll cross 40 million, which will be an important milestone".

Changi deputy director of airline development Donald Tan says the airport is now seeing a healthy mix of legacy and low-cost growth. "Last year was very dominated by low-cost carriers. This year we're seeing growth from both," he says.

Legacy carrier traffic is up about 10% at Changi so far this year while low-cost carrier traffic is up about 50%, compared to over 100% last year. Changi in August secured its 58th passenger carrier, when China's Hainan Airlines launched services to Singapore. Changi has already secured Finnair from May 2011 and Donald Tan hopes Finnair resuming service to Singapore after a four-year hiatus will "stir up interest" from other European carriers. "At this conference we're engaging with long-haul carriers which have flown to Singapore in the past like Swiss," he says.

Donald Tan adds that Changi will meet with about 50 airlines at this year's World Route Development Forum including airlines from Latin America. He says Changi is striving to use the forum to introduce Latin carriers to Singapore. "The market for the Americas is a market we want to develop. South America is a continent we're not linked to at all," he says.

Changi will also meet with North American carriers at the forum as it looks to kick-start growth in its long-haul market. Intra-Asia traffic has accounted for most of the growth recently with, according to Donald Tan, "Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia seeing strong growth this year". He adds: "We're seeing growth in China and India as well."

Source: Flight Daily News