Singapore Changi Airport sees cargo volumes fall

Changi Airport airfreight centre. Photo: Changi Airport

Singapore Changi Airport has released data for traffic that moved through the gateway in December and right across 2022.

In December, it handled 153,000 tonnes of airfreight, down by 17% on the same month of 2021.

The airport operator, Changi Airport Group (CAG), attributed the decline in cargo flow to a backdrop of global economic uncertainty and inflationary pressure.

Indeed, Changi suffered double-digit year-on-year falls in airfreight throughput in September, October and November, as well as in December.

Over the course of 2022, Changi handled 1.85m tonnes of airfreight, down by 4.8% on the previous year.

Changi’s top five air cargo markets for the year were, in order by volume: China, Australia, the US, Hong Kong and Japan.

Lim Ching Kiat, executive vice president of air hub and cargo development at CAG, commented: “In the past two years, we strengthened our airport offerings and continued to engage our airline partners in anticipation of travel revival.”

He noted that the re-opening of Terminals 2 and 4 had helped restore airport capacity to cater to stronger passenger travel demand and said he looked forward to welcoming more flights in the coming months – for example, Ethiopian Airlines is to launch flights from Addis Ababa in March.

“Notwithstanding near-term challenges such as global economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures, we are confident that we will be able to progressively restore Changi Airport’s connectivity and traffic to pre-Covid levels,” he added.

New arrivals

In 2022, Changi Airport welcomed eight new airlines to the gateway. Seven were passenger carriers but one is a freighter operator: Atlas Air.

As of the first week of January 2023, 96 airlines operated over 5,600 weekly scheduled flights through Changi Airport, connecting Singapore to 143 cities in 48 countries and territories worldwide.

This represented 82% of Changi’s pre-Covid connectivity.

In August last year, CAG welcomed the confirmation of a collaboration between DHL Express and Singapore Airlines (SIA) for five of the former’s five Boeing 777 freighters to operate out of Changi Airport on routes between the US and Singapore, with stopovers in North Asia and Australia.

Five months before, DH Express and SIA had signed a crew and maintenance agreement to deploy the five B777Fs in an arrangement that would see the aircraft flown by pilots of the Singaporean carrier, with SIA also overseeing their maintenance.

Two of the five aircraft began operations at Changi Airport last year, facilitating express cargo traffic between the US and Asia Pacific region via Singapore.

The remaining three freighters are expected to arrive at Changi this year.

Changi takes multimodal approach to growth

Hermes and dnata air cargo digitalisation project goes live at Changi Airport

DHL Express and Singapore Airlines partnership grows with B777F

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