Changi Airport Group (CAG) honoured its top airline partners this evening at the 7th Changi Airline Awards held at the Shangri-La Hotel. The event was graced by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs. The annual awards recognise the partnership of airlines operating at Changi Airport and their contributions towards making it a vibrant and world-class air hub.
Awards were presented at today’s event in five categories, namely top airlines by passenger and cargo carriage, fastest growing carriers for passengers and cargo, and the Partner of the Year award.
The Partner of the Year award was presented to the Jetstar Group, in recognition of its strong partnership with CAG to grow and strengthen Changi Airport's passenger throughput, connectivity and air hub status. Besides strong year-on-year growth in its weekly flights out of Singapore, Jetstar launched Changi’s first long-haul low-cost service from Singapore to Melbourne in 2010, followed by services to Auckland and Beijing in 2011. These new services strengthen Changi’s position as the preferred gateway to Australasia. Milestones were also achieved when Jetstar established new direct links in China such as Shantou, Hangzhou and Ningbo, bridging Changi’s connectivity to key emerging secondary Chinese cities.
Leveraging Changi Airport’s strength as a major air hub, Jetstar grew the proportion of its transfer traffic to its total carriage at Changi from an initial 5% in 2009 to 14% of its total passenger movements by end-2011. This robust growth was the result of Jetstar’s active promotion of transfers within its network as well as interlining partnerships with major carriers such as Qantas, Air France-KLM and Jet Airways. Since Jetstar Asia started operations at Changi Airport in 2004, it has grown from a fleet of four A320 aircraft to 16 A320s today, making Changi the Jetstar Group’s largest A320 base in Asia. Its city links from Changi has also grown from three in 2004 to the current 29 across 13 countries.
Mr Bruce Buchanan, Chief Executive Officer of Jetstar Group, said, “"Jetstar is absolutely delighted to accept this award. Partners like CAG are critical to our success and our ability to offer our low fares across the region. Good airlines require good partners like CAG who understand the nature of our low cost model and how to work together to maximise opportunities to build growth.”
Top carriers at Changi
Jetstar was among the top 5 passenger carriers at Changi Airport in 2011. The others were Singapore Airlines, Tiger Airways, Silkair and Qantas Airways. Singapore Airlines Cargo, Cathay Pacific Airways and FedEx Express headed the list of the top cargo carriers.
Awards were also presented to airlines from different regions which registered the strongest growth in passenger traffic at Changi. These were Tiger Airways (Singapore), AirAsia Berhad (Southeast Asia), Cathay Pacific Airways (Northeast Asia), Jet Airways (South Asia), Qantas Airways (Southwest Pacific), Qatar Airways (Middle East) and Turkish Airlines (Europe). Cathay Pacific was a repeat winner, while Tiger Airways posted the strongest growth in passengers carried of 44% among airlines serving more than 1 million passengers at Changi.
Singapore Airlines Cargo led the list of the five fastest growing cargo airlines at Changi Airport last year. These airlines collectively carried over 70,000 tonnes more of freight in 2011, outstripping the overall tonnage increase of 51,000 tonnes.
Partnering for growth
After registering 46.5 million passenger movements in 2011, Changi Airport has experienced steady passenger traffic growth in the first quarter of the year, with 12.3 million passengers passing through Changi. This represents a 12.9% increase in the three months over the corresponding period in 2011. Despite a dip in cargo movements to and from Europe and South Asia, cargo volumes stayed in the black with a modest 0.6% year-on-year increase from January to March.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Mr Lee Seow Hiang, CEO of Changi Airport Group, said, “For airlines, Asia is your region of growth and Singapore is at the heart of it. There are tremendous opportunities to tap the business potential of rising incomes and further market liberalisation. More passengers and an enhanced network at Changi translate into more interlining possibilities for airlines to feed and receive traffic. We will spare no effort in working with our airline partners to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in the region and beyond.”
He reiterated CAG’s commitment of additional support should the macro environment deteriorates significantly. “We are not in the position to negate the effects of high oil price. But we have a solid record of standing by our partners to weather storms together. And we remain prepared to run the extra mile. Throughout the last decade, we have provided a range of support measures in difficult times, whether in the form of cost relief to airlines or marketing support to stimulate travel. Other incentives, under the Changi Airport Growth Initiative, remain and these will support airlines’ traffic growth at Changi Airport and the launch of services to new destinations.”
Changi Airport is the world’s seventh busiest airport for international passenger traffic. As at 1 April 2012, Changi served 100 airlines operating over 6,200 weekly scheduled flights to more than 220 cities in some 60 countries and territories.
About Changi Airport Group
Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) (www.changiairportgroup.com) was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport followed on 1 July 2009. As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services. Through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, the Group invests in and manages foreign airports to spread the success of Changi Airport internationally.
Changi Airport (www.changiairport.com) is the world’s most awarded airport having garnered more than 400 accolades since it opened in 1981. To serve passengers and visitors from the world over, there are 360 retail stores and 130 F&B outlets across the airport's four terminals. Changi handled more than 46 million passenger movements in 2011, an annual record. Today, it serves some 100 airlines flying to over 220 cities in about 60 countries and territories worldwide. A flight takes off or lands at Changi roughly once every 100 seconds.