Singapore’s air traffic volume has reached almost a third of pre-Covid levels just over two weeks after removing most restrictions on air travel and is on track to reach 50 per cent later this year, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).
The increase in air traffic since Singapore reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travellers at the start of April was recorded across all major markets, with particularly strong growth for traffic to and from Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, said the authority.
Direct traffic increased for both international and local travellers, with Singapore citizens and permanent residents making up close to a third of total direct traffic, CAAS said in a statement.
In all, air passenger traffic in Singapore reached 400,000 or 31 percent of pre-Covid levels as of the week ending on Sunday, up from 18 percent a month ago.
The number of passenger flights also increased to 38 percent of pre-Covid levels, up from 29 percent a month ago.
CAAS noted that the frequency of flights to and from Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam “increased significantly”.
Three airlines, Air New Zealand, Myanmar Airways International and PT Batik Air Asia, restarted rescheduled passenger flights to Singapore, it added.
Air links were also re-established with five new cities namely Cairns in Australia, Danang in Vietnam, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, Madurai in India, and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, said CAAS.
Han Kok Juan, CAAS director-general, said that he expects air traffic volume to increase further, especially during the upcoming long weekend over the public holidays for May Day and Hari Raya Puasa, as well as the June school holiday season.
May Day falls on May 1 while Hari Raya Puasa falls on May 3.
“CAAS is working with the airport operator, aviation companies and unions to ramp up operations and manpower to support the higher traveller volumes. We also advise travellers to come to the airport early and to cater more time for departure check-in and arrival baggage collection,” Han said.
The statement said that CAAS is working with the aviation community to increase operations and manpower to meet demand as air travel recovers this year and “to rebuild and reclaim Singapore’s position as a premier air hub”.
To this end, CAAS will be organising a careers promotion and recruitment event, titled “OneAviation Careers”, on May 27 and 28 at the Suntec City Convention Centre.
More than 15 aviation companies, such as Singapore Airlines and Rolls Royce, will be at the event to engage job seekers and students on career opportunities in the aviation sector.
SIA sees significant increase in passenger demand
Separately, Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group reported a “significant increase” in passenger demand for both SIA and its budget airline arm Scoot for last month.
The increase was amidst easing restrictions is almost all of its key markets and the increase in the Vaccinated Travel Lane quota for daily arrivals in Singapore, said the group, which published its operating results for March on 18 April. The two airlines carried a total of 893,000 passengers in March, up from 544,600 in February 2022.
Group passenger capacity, which is measured in available seat-kilometres, reached just over half of pre-Covid-19 levels in March and was up by seven percentage points from February.