Changi Airport’s 2023 passenger traffic reaches 86% of pre-Covid levels

By Faye Bartle |

Changi Airport

Traffic recovery at Changi in Q4 2023 surpassed 90% of pre-pandemic levels.

Singapore Changi Airport handled 58.9 million passenger (pax) movements in 2023, representing 86% of the pax traffic recorded in 2019.

The result was boosted by a strong recovery in the fourth quarter with a total of 1 million pax movements registered, surpassing 90% of pre-pandemic levels, compared to the same quarter in 2019.

December 2023 was Changi’s busiest month of the year, registering 5.8 million pax movements, or 91% of traffic in December 2019.

The busiest day of the year was 22 December 2023 – the Friday before Christmas – when 203,000 passengers passed through Changi’s terminals.

Figures for the full year show that aircraft movements, including landings and take-offs, totalled 328,000, compared to 382,000 in 2019.

“2023 was an invigorating year, as we witnessed the resounding resumption of travel across the world, as well as the full reopening of Changi Airport’s Terminal 2,” said Lim Ching Kiat, Changi Airport Group’s Executive Vice President for Air Hub and Cargo Development

“The upswing in travel was fuelled by strong outbound travel demand, as well as growing inbound travel.

“The growth in passenger traffic was especially strong in Asia, with an acceleration seen in the last quarter.

“Changi Airport also resumed connections to more than 10 cities this year, including Addis Ababa, Changsha, Ningbo, Kaohsiung, and Okinawa. We have restored almost 90% of our pre-Covid city links to date, with Changi Airport now the fifth busiest airport in the world by seat capacity*.”

North America leads Changi’s regional pax recovery

Traffic to and from North America posted the strongest growth for the airport in 2023, exceeding 2019 levels by more than 25%.

Changi traffic stats 2023

Changi Airport 2023 passenger traffic key statistics. Source: Changi Airport Group.

In addition, Europe, Southwest Pacific and South Asia are close to full recovery, registering over 90% of 2019 traffic.

Compared to 2022, there was a ‘strong’ recovery across all regions throughout the year, with Northeast Asia pax traffic in 2023 more than four times that of the previous year, which Changi credits ‘largely due to a significant increase in travel between China and Singapore’.

Southeast Asia posted the second strongest growth, registering a 72% year-on-year growth.

Changi Airport’s top five paxmarkets for the year were Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Thailand and India.

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

With the easing of travel restrictions, China regained its spot in Changi’s top 10 markets, closing the year in sixth place, with close to four million pax movements.

Pax traffic between Japan and Singapore tripled compared to 2022, while South Korea traffic exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 36%, making it the market with the strongest rebound compared to pre-Covid traffic.

Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Denpasar (Bali) and Manila were Changi Airport’s busiest routes during the year, with the Kuala Lumpur route being ‘the world’s busiest international route based on seat capacity’, according to the hub.

Boost in connectivity as travellers “rekindle their wanderlust”

Changi welcomed three new passenger airlines into the fold last year: Air Macau, Firefly and TransNusa.

Two new passenger city links were also added to its network – Bhubaneswar (India) and Sanya (China) – while its first link to Beijing Daxing Airport was established via China Eastern Airlines.

Changi traffic stats 2023

Changi Airport 2023 passenger traffic key statistics. Source: Changi Airport Group.

Furthermore, the three-year partnership between Singapore Tourism Board, TUI Airways and Marella Cruises means Changi is welcoming fly-cruise passengers from the UK between December to April each season, for three years until 2026.

Other big announcements included the return of Air Canada, after a break of more than than 30 years. The airline will commence a four-weekly non-stop Vancouver-Singapore service in April 2024.

Singapore Airlines is also launching new passenger services to Brussels and London Gatwick, from April and June 2024 respectively.

Ching Kiat commented: “We step into 2024 hopeful of making a full recovery back to Changi Airport’s pre-Covid connectivity and traffic levels.

“As more travellers around the world rekindle their wanderlust, we will continue to work with our airline partners to bring exciting destinations and new travel experiences to travellers.”

*Source: OAG’s World’s Busiest Airports of 2023.

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