Singapore Changi Airport’s Q1 2024 sees higher passenger traffic than pre-pandemic level

Singapore Changi Airport, consistently ranked among the best and busiest international airports in the world, has registered 16.5 million passenger movements from January to March (Q1) 2024, surpassing the corresponding figure for the first quarter of 2019 by 0.5 per cent.

Boarding pass at Singapore Changi Airport
As on April 1, 2024, a total of 95 airlines operate over 6,800 weekly scheduled flights at Singapore Changi Airport. Photo courtesy: Instagram/changiairport

Changi Airport handled 5.43 million, 5.35 million, and 5.73 million passenger movements in January, February, and March 2024, respectively. These were 96 per cent, 104.3 per cent, and 101.7 per cent compared to the same months in 2019.

Overall, Q1 2024 did better in terms of passenger traffic than Q1 2019, the year that is taken as the pre-pandemic baseline for business metrics.

For Q1 2024, aircraft movements at Changi Airport totalled 89,400 (which was 94 per cent of the aircraft movements in Q1 2019).

According to data released by Changi Airport authorities, “traffic to and from most regions recovered to 2019 levels, or surpassed them”.

North America has been the strongest performer, with traffic exceeding pre-COVID levels by 25 per cent in this quarter.

Changi Airport’s top five markets for the quarter were China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and Thailand. A mutual 30-day visa-exemption arrangement between Singapore and China, launched on February 9, 2024, has boosted travel between the two countries, propelling China as Changi’s top market for the quarter.

Duty-free shoppers at Singapore Changi Airport
Delighted duty-free shoppers at Singapore Changi Airport. Screenshot courtesy: Instagram/changiairport

In Q1 2024, Denpasar (Bali), Manila, Taipei, Seoul, and Shanghai were among the top 10 cities that outperformed Q1 2019 by more than 10 per cent.

From January to March 2024, airfreight throughput totalled 475,000 tonnes, an increase of 14 per cent compared to the same period last year. This marks the first quarter of year-on-year growth after seven consecutive quarters of decline.

The growth was largely attributed to strong transshipment performance, especially for flows with China. For this period, Changi’s top five air cargo markets were Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, and the United States of America.

We are delighted to report that passenger movements in Q1 2024 have surpassed pre-COVID volumes. This follows a steady recovery of travel in the past year. CAG has worked closely with airline partners to reinstate flights suspended during the pandemic and add new flights at Changi Airport.

Lim Ching Kiat, Executive Vice-President for Air Hub and Cargo Development, Changi Airport Group

Lim said, “The strong traffic performance this quarter was boosted by the hosting of many music concerts in Singapore and the relaxing of visa requirements between China and Singapore.

“CAG will continue to collaborate with our airline and travel trade partners to tap into the strong travel momentum in the region. Our goal is to achieve 100 per cent traffic recovery this year. We will also introduce new airline brands and destinations to Singapore.”

Changi Aiport by the numbers

  • Changi Airport was the world’s 5th busiest airport by international passenger volume in 2023, as per a report by the Airports Council International.
  • Changi has been the world’s 3rd busiest international airport by seat capacity in March and April 2024, according to OAG.
  • Changi Airport has seen the commencement of 2 new passenger service routes — Air Canada’s Vancouver-Singapore service (launched on April 4); and Singapore Airlines’ Singapore-Brussels service (launched on April 5).
  • Changi Airport welcomed 2 new freighter airlines — Shandong Airlines and Air Incheon — that started weekly services in Q1 2024.
  • As on April 1, 2024, a total of 95 airlines operate over 6,800 weekly scheduled flights at Changi Airport, connecting Singapore to 153 cities in 48 countries and territories worldwide.