Changi Airport News

790 passengers a day at Changi Airport in May as travel demand hits all-time low

Changi Airport suffers its worst ever month, with only 790 passengers per day in May 2020, the same number that would normally pass through every 7 minutes

Jewel and Tower (CAG)

May 2020 is a month Changi Airport will no doubt be happy to forget, with statistics released today showing that just 790 passengers used the facility each day, for a record low of 24,500 during the 31-day period, a 99.5% drop compared to May 2019.

Two of the airport’s four passenger terminals were shuttered during the month, to assist in cutting operating costs including cleaning and utilities.

Air freight was down 40% on normal levels, but did record a 7% increase on April 2020’s low point. Total aircraft takeoffs and landings, including both passenger and freight flights, also increased by 16% since April, but remained 86% lower than usual.

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Passenger totals

Here’s how the number of passengers passing through Changi Airport looked so far in 2020 compared to the same months in 2019.

Changi Airport
Passenger totals
2019
(x 1,000)
2020
(x 1,000)
Change
January 5,660 5,950 increase 5.2%
February 5,130 3,450 decrease 32.8%
March 5,630 1,650 decrease 70.7%
April 5,580 25.2 decrease 99.5%
May 5,410 24.5 decrease 99.5%
Year to date 27,410 11,100 decrease 59.5%
Changi Pax Jan-May
(click to enlarge)

The year got off to a good start with the airport seeing a 5% passenger increase in January 2020 compared to the same month the previous year. That was commensurate with a 4% increase in passenger traffic seen at the airport during 2019.

Flight cancellations as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak then resulted in a one-third drop in passengers for February 2020, falling further in March 2020 and finally bottoming out at the current record lows in April and May 2020.

Overall a 99.5% drop in passengers using Changi has now been recorded for the second consecutive month.

Fun fact: 790 passengers used Changi Airport per day in May 2020, the same number that would normally pass through the airport, on average, every 7 minutes.

In total the first five months have seen a 59.5% drop in passenger numbers at the airport.

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Cargo totals

Here’s how the air freight tonnage at Changi Airport looked so far in 2020 compared to the same months in 2019.

Changi Airport
Cargo totals
2019
(x 1,000)
2020
(x 1,000)
Change
January 170 157 decrease 8.4%
February 140 147 increase 7.6%
March 180 149 decrease 19.1%
April 160 95.8 decrease 38.8%
May 170 103 decrease 40.0%
Year to date 820 652 decrease 20.6%

The falloff in cargo volumes at the airport came through a little later than for passenger traffic, as dedicated freighter services remained and airlines began operating cargo-only services with their passenger aircraft.

Indeed Singapore Airlines is still flying three passenger aircraft with only cargo on board for every passenger flight it operates in June 2020.

This helps the airline to earn some revenue and helps to address the significant shortage in cargo capacity that has been brought about by the almost complete lack of passenger flights, which typically carry 75% of SIA’s annual cargo in the underfloor holds.

May 2020 did see a slight increase in cargo at Changi, up 7.5% compared to April to 103,000 tonnes, however this was a 40% fall compared to May 2019.

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Takeoffs and landings

Here’s how the number of aircraft takeoff and landings Changi Airport had so far in 2020 compared to the same months in 2019.

Changi Airport
Takeoffs and landings
2019
(x 1,000)
2020
(x 1,000)
Change
January 32.7 33.4 increase 2.2%
February 29.9 26.2