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Changi Airport handled record 58.7m passengers in 2016

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China rose up the ranks to become the airport's third largest country market for 2016 as traffic expanded 15 per cent. It was previously in fifth spot.

Singapore

CHANGI Airport in 2016 handled a record 58.7 million passengers , an increase of 5.9 per cent that was underpinned by traffic from South East Asia, North East Asia and Oceania.

Airport operator Changi Airport Group (CAG) said in a release that routes to these three markets contributed 90 per cent of passenger traffic growth.

Cargo throughput chalked up a new high of 1.97 million tonnes, representing growth of 6.3 per cent year on year, while aircraft movements rose 4.1 per cent to 360,490.

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CAG chief executive 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. 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."

China rose up the ranks to become the airport's third largest country market for 2016 as traffic expanded 15 per cent; China was previously in fifth spot. Preliminary figures from the Singapore Tourism Board put total visitor arrivals from China at 2.64 million for January to November 2016, up about 36 per cent.

Last year, Changi's busiest routes remained little changed, as Jakarta continued to claim top spot. Kuala Lumpur moved up from third to second, swopping positions with Bangkok. Hong Kong and Manila rounded off fourth and fifth, unchanged from 2015.

Changi Airport also enjoyed double-digit growth in air traffic from cities such as Guangzhou (21 per cent), Melbourne (13 per cent) and Penang (11 per cent).

For December alone, Changi Airport handled 5.68 million passengers, up 7.2 per cent. Meanwhile, aircraft take-offs and landings rose 4.4 per cent to 31,970 and cargo traffic jumped 8.4 per cent to 177,360 airfreight movements.

The airport saw its busiest day in its history on Dec 23 last year, with 202,359 passengers passing through its gates, said CAG.

Mr Lee added: "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. Similarly, manageable fuel costs and improvement in aircraft technology bode well for Changi Airport's drive to work with airlines to expand our network of city links."

CAG will roll out a suite of self-service options as well as a centralised security screening at Terminal 4, which is due to open its doors in 2H this year. T4 will add a capacity of 16 million passengers annually to Changi's current capacity of 66 million across its three existing terminals.

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