Singapore’s transport minister said this week that passenger traffic at the city-state’s Changi Airport more than doubled in April from March to nearly 40 percent of pre-pandemic levels as Singapore eased COVID-19 restrictions and other countries in the region started to reopen.
Transport Minister S. Iswaran said the numbers improved after Singapore reopened its borders fully to travellers vaccinated against COVID-19 on 1 April and did away with mandatory quarantines as well. Passenger movements at Changi in March reached just 18 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels, said Iswaran, who revealed the numbers at the Changi Airline Awards ceremony. About 1.14 million passengers passed through the airport in March, the first time the one million mark was crossed since borders were shut two years ago due to COVID.
April’s passenger movement numbers move Singapore closer to its goal of restoring passenger volumes to at least 50 percent of pre-COVID levels by the end of the year. Before the pandemic struck in 2020, 68.3 million travellers passed through Changi Airport. As of 1 May, 82 airlines operate more than 3,300 weekly scheduled flights at Changi Airport, linking Singapore to 125 cities across 47 countries and territories.
Officials said in March the number of workers in the air transport sector was at about two-thirds to three-quarters of pre-pandemic figures. Airport operator Changi Airport Group (CAG) said then that it was increasing its capacity and working closely with its partners to smoothen on-ground operations.
Meanwhile, average cargo aircraft movements at Changi have tripled since the start of the pandemic. The airport also gained six new scheduled freighter operators, while DHL Express and FedEx also expanded their networks here, Iswaran said.