India in Top 5 passenger markets for Singapore’s Changi Airport

Changi Skytrain
Changi International Airport: HSBC Rain Vortex at Jewel Changi seen from the Skytrain. Photo courtesy: X/@ChangiAirport

India was ranked fifth among the top five largest passenger markets for Singapore’s Changi Airport, which handled 328,000 flights and 58.9 million passengers in 2023, according to official data released yesterday.

Changi International Airport, consistently named one of the best airports in the world, often taking the top spot, last year reached about 86 per cent of the traffic levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changi Airport infographic
Infographic courtesy: X/@ChangiAirport

Indonesia topped Changi Airport’s passenger market in 2023, followed by Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, and India, as per the latest figures released by the Changi Airport Group (CAG).

India was the sixth travel traffic generator for Changi Airport in 2019. Before the novel coronavirus infection began spreading at the end of 2019, the airport had registered 68.3 million passenger movements.

The 2023 passenger traffic through Changi Airport was also an 83 per cent increase from the 32.2 million passengers the airport handled in 2022.

Changi Airport infographic
Infographic courtesy: X/@ChangiAirport

About 328,000 flights took off from or landed at Changi Airport in 2023, the data stated, as against 382,000 flights it handled in 2019, which also shows a nearly 86 per cent recovery.

Between October and December 2023, the airport recorded 16.1 million passenger movements, surpassing 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

December was the busiest month of the year, with 5.8 million passengers moving through the airport. This was 91 per cent of traffic levels in December 2019.

Changi Airport recorded its busiest day of 2023 on December 22, the Friday before Christmas, with 203,000 passengers passing through its terminals. In December, 30,400 flights landed at or departed from the airport.

Changi Airport infographic
Infographic courtesy: X/@ChangiAirport

Quoting CAG, The Straits Times newspaper reported that all the regions to which the airport was connected were recording healthy recovery in passenger traffic from pre-pandemic levels.

North America recorded a growth of more than 25 per cent, compared to 2019.

Europe, the South-West Pacific (comprising Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, such as Fiji) and South Asia are in near-total recovery, rebounding to more than 90 per cent of passenger traffic levels in 2019.

Changi Airport infographic
Infographic courtesy: X/@ChangiAirport

Compared to 2022, North-East Asia was Changi Airport’s leading region in 2023, with passenger traffic increasing more than four times that of the previous year. This was mostly due to a rise in travel between China and Singapore.

China gradually loosened its COVID-19 controls from January 2023. Singapore later became one of the first countries that China allowed its citizens to travel to in tour groups. Last July, China reinstated 15-day visa-free entry for Singaporeans.

Among Changi Airport’s top 10 markets, China, Japan and South Korea were the fastest growing in 2023 compared to 2022.

The busiest routes to and from the airport throughout the year were Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Bangkok in Thailand; Jakarta in Indonesia; Denpasar in Bali; Indonesia; and Manila in the Philippines.

However, Changi Airport’s cargo flows dipped 6 per cent compared to 2022 amid global economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures, the report said.