Singapore’s Changi traffic down 70% in March

Air travel demand remained significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with all regions recording steep declines in March.

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(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Singapore’s Changi Airport handled 1.65 million passenger movements in March 2020, a decrease of 70.7 percent compared to the same period last year. Aircraft movements declined by 49.9 percent to 16,200 landings and take-offs, while airfreight throughput dropped 19.1 percent to 149,000 tonnes for the month.

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Singapore’s Changi airport is consistently ranked as one of the best airports in the world. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Air travel demand remained significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with all regions recording steep declines in March. For the last seven days of the month, passenger movements at Changi Airport were 98 percent lower than they were a year ago. Flight movements similarly declined sharply during the same period, by 87 percent year-on-year. The fall in airfreight throughput during the month was impacted by the decrease in belly-hold capacity on passenger flights. Both import and export flows have also seen contraction.

Singapore Airlines will ground more than 100 planes as the COVID-19 virus shuts down air travel and countries enact border controls. (PHOTO: File)

For the first quarter of the year, Changi Airport registered 11.0 million passenger movements, a decrease of 32.7 percent year-on-year. Aircraft movements declined 20.1 percent to 75,900 while airfreight throughput fell 8 percent to 453,000 tonnes.

Due to stricter travel restrictions put in place by countries around the world, airlines have cancelled many flights. For the month of April 2020, the number of scheduled flights at Changi Airport is about 96 percent fewer compared to what was originally scheduled.

The airport also announced that Kalitta Air launched a 4-times weekly freighter service to Changi Airport on 2 April 2020, connecting to Anchorage, Cincinnati, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Sydney. On 12 April 2020, Sichuan Airlines commenced new freighter operations at Changi with a weekly freighter service connecting Singapore to Chongqinq and Nantong.

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.

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