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Changi Airport handles record 55.4m passengers in 2015, thanks to uptick in H2

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Changi Airport saw a record 55.4 million passengers in 2015, up 2.5 per cent year on year, thanks to a rebound in the second half of the year.

CHANGI Airport saw a record 55.4 million passengers in 2015, up 2.5 per cent year on year, thanks to a rebound in the second half of the year.

This is slightly higher than the 54.1 million passenger movements in 2014.

Growth in the first half was essentially flat, as high-profile air accidents in 2014 dampened travel demand and as carriers struggled with depressed yields.

Changi Airport Group chief executive, Lee Seow Hiang, said: "We pressed on to actively woo new airlines and seek growth opportunities with existing ones, and our efforts have yielded some positive outcomes. We have seen both full-service and low-cost carriers add capacity in recent months and this has resulted in stronger passenger growth of about 5 per cent for the second half of the year."

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There were 346,330 landings and take-offs, an increase of 1.4 per cent, while cargo traffic clocked around 1.85 million tonnes, edging up 0.5 per cent.

Top source markets such as Thailand (12.5 per cent), Vietnam (7.2 per cent) and China (7 per cent) saw the strongest growth. But others - such as Indonesia (-7.3 per cent) and Hong Kong (-1.2 per cent) - posted lower growth. One of the factors flagged was the strong Singapore dollar.

The busiest routes in 2015 were Jakarta, followed by Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

During the year, seven new carriers started operations at Changi Airport, including Air New Zealand, Batik Air and Thai Lion Air. Meanwhile, the airport added nine new destinations last year, of which four were in China.

Mr Lee added: "Going forward, economic uncertainty in many markets, made worse by lacklustre business and consumer confidence, may dampen travel demand in the near term. However, low fuel prices should support airlines' profitability. The outlook for Changi is also bolstered by positive developments such as the addition of new city links and airlines in the coming months."

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