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Changi Airport’s passenger traffic rose to 15pc from pre-COVID levels in December

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Passenger traffic at Changi Airport rose to 15 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of December, up from just three per cent at the start of 2021, said Transport Minister S Iswaran yesterday.

Responding to questions from members of Parliament Saktiandi Supaat (PAP-Bishan-Toa Payoh) and Shawn Huang (PAP-Jurong) about this year’s outlook for Singapore’s air hub, Iswaran said that while air travel is expected to take several years to recover to pre-pandemic levels, the government is confident of the long-term potential of air travel.

Citing a study by International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Oxford Economics, he said international passenger volume is projected to reach about 55 per cent of 2019’s levels at the end of 2022, up from about 20 per cent last year.

Barring unexpected setbacks like Omicron, Iswaran said the government expects further recovery in 2022.

Turning to Singapore’s maritime industry, Iswaran said container throughput likely reached an all-time high in 2021.

“Maritime businesses also continued to establish and expand operations here. We expect the favourable outlook for trade and shipping to continue in 2022,” he said.

According to industry projections, global seaborne trade is expected to grow 3.5 per cent in 2022, slightly below the estimated 3.6 per cent growth in 2021, he added.

Check-in counter at Changi Airport Terminal 1. PHOTO: CNA
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