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The Straits Times
Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017
Changi Airport handled a record 58.7 million passengers last year, 5.9 per cent higher than in 2015.
Dec 23 was the busiest day ever, with 202,359 passengers passing through its gates, Changi said on Monday (Jan 30).
The overall traffic growth was due in part to a rising number of Chinese travellers.
From fifth spot, China moved to become Changi's third largest country market - after Indonesia and Malaysia - with a 15 per cent jump in traffic.
Last year, routes to South-east Asia, North-east Asia and Oceania accounted for 90 per cent of the growth in Changi's passenger traffic, said the airport.
The number of aircraft landings and take offs increased by 4.1 per cent to 360,490 while total cargo volumes grew by 6.3 per cent to reach a new high of 1.97 million tonnes.
Last year, the airport welcomed two new passenger airlines - China's West Air and Fiji Airways - and two all-cargo carriers.
United Airlines and Singapore Airlines also commenced non-stop flights to San Francisco.
Eight new city links were established during the year - to India (Amritsar and Jaipur), China (Urumqi), Australia (Canberra), New Zealand (Wellington), Fiji (Nadi), Japan (Sapporo) and Germany (Dusseldorf).
Changi Airport Group's chief executive officer Lee Seow Hiang, said: "Despite a backdrop of economic and socio-political uncertainties, we maintain a positive outlook for the year ahead. We see opportunities in emerging markets within Africa and Eastern Europe. At the same time, we will continue to grow our long haul routes to Western Europe, and strengthen our connectivity within the region to secondary cities in South East Asia, China and India."
"We have observed emerging trends such as growth in the self-transfer and fly-cruise segments, and will continue to work with our partners to develop innovative solutions to better serve passengers" he said.
Similarly, manageable fuel costs and improvement in aircraft technology bode well for Changi Airport's drive to work with airlines to expand its network of city links, Mr Lee said.