Singapore: Changi Airport to start flights to new destinations, more seats for existing ones

The number of flights from Changi Airport, which handled a record 58.7 million passengers in 2016, is expected to in 2017.

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Passengers walk in Singapore's Changi Airport Terminal 3. Reuters

Singapore's primary civilian airport, Changi Airport, will be introducing services to new cities over the coming weeks to cater to the rising demand for expansion of air travel in the Southeast Asian region. Not only this, authorities are also planning to engage more flights and provide more seats for existing destinations, like Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phuket and Yangon.

While Singapore Airlines is all set to launch a new service to Stockholm in Sweden, via Moscow in May, its long-haul budget arm Scoot will start providing flights to Athens, Greece, in June, reported The Straits Times. Moreover, there will also be flights to 12 destinations in the Asia-Pacific, the Changi Airport Group revealed.

Ahmedabad in western India, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh and Australian cities of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney will also get connected with the lion city via new flights. However, the number of flights is based on schedules pre-filed by carriers for the northern summer season, which started yesterday and will be ending in late October, reported the news website.

Lim Ching Kiat , Changi's managing director, said: "Travel in the Asia-Pacific region has seen healthy growth in the past 12 months, and we are pleased that the increase in services will strengthen Changi Airport's network."

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines, which stopped flying to Singapore due to low demand, are expected to resume services in June with five flights a week from Ethiopia's sprawling capital, Addis Ababa. "With Africa as the next frontier in emerging markets, we are also excited about the re-launch of flights to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)," said Lim.

Experts argue that this trend confirms that the Southeast Asian nations are experiencing economic growth and thus the middle class has more money in hand, which in turn is fuelling more demand for air travel. The number of flights from Changi Airport, which handled a record 58.7 million passengers in 2016, 5.9 per cent higher than in 2015, is expected to grow further this year. According to Straits Times, Singapore-based analyst Brendan Sobie noted that while Malaysia and Vietnam passenger traffic is like to grow strongly this year, Singapore, which is a more mature market, is expected to grow only moderately.