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HomeTravelSingapore Changi Passes 2019 Levels As Swifties And Chinese Visitors Surge

Singapore Changi Passes 2019 Levels As Swifties And Chinese Visitors Surge

Summary Singapore’s Changi Airport sees post-COVID recovery in Q1 2024, surpassing pre-pandemic passenger volumes.
Hosting Taylor Swift concerts and new visa-free agreements boosted traffic from China.
Changi Airport Group aims for 100% traffic recovery, introducing new airlines and destinations in 2024.
When the Taylor Swift phenomenon comes to town, the benefits flow out in all directions, even stretching as far as the airlines and airports hosting the thousands of people flocking to the concerts. After five years of trying, Singapore’s Changi Airport has finally surpassed pre-pandemic passenger movements, partly due to the more than 368,000 people who flocked to her six concerts in Singapore.
Post-COVID Recovery
Between January and March this year (Q1 2024), Singapore Changi Airport handled 16.5 million passengers, marginally surpassing what it handled in the first quarter of pre-COVID 2019. On a monthly basis, the airport handled 5.43 million, 5.35 million and 5.73 million passengers in January, February and March 2024, respectively, compared to 5.66 million, 5.13 million and 5.63 million in the corresponding months of 2019.
Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock
In Q1 2019, the airport processed 16.42 million passengers on its way to 68.3 million for the year, whereas in 2023, the first quarter yielded just 13.0 million and an annual total of 58.9 million. To illustrate the destruction the pandemic caused, those annual numbers were 11.8 million in 2020, 3.05 million in 2021 and 32.2 million in 2022, with those three years totaling 47.05 million, a paltry 68% of the passengers handled in 2019.
Related Singapore Changi Airport Fully Reopens Expanded T2 Singapore Changi Airport has fully reopened Terminal 2 and expanded its overall airport capacity to 90 million passengers annually.
Aircraft movements in Q1 2024 totaled 89,400 (94% of Q1 2019), and traffic to and from most regions either recovered to or surpassed pre-pandemic levels. The strongest performing market was North America, which overtook 2019 levels by 25% in the first three months of this year.
Photo: lydiarei | Shutterstock
Changi’s top five markets in 1Q were China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and Thailand, while Denpasar (Bali), Manila, Taipei, Seoul and Shanghai were among the top ten cities which surpassed Q1 2019 by more than 10%. On February 9, 2024, a mutual visa-exemption agreement was launched between China and Singapore, which immediately boosted travel between the two countries, pushing China to be the airport’s top market for the quarter.
Can it stay ahead of 2019?
Changi Airport Group (CAG) Executive Vice President for Air Hub and Cargo Development Lim Ching Kiat said the airport is delighted to have surpassed pre-COVID volumes and that it had worked closely with airline partners to reinstate flights suspended during the pandemic and add new flights at Changi airport.

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