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Changi Airport welcomes new carriers

By control on November 22, 2011

The past few months have been lucrative for Singapore Changi Airport’s freight sector. The airport, which handled 154,400 tonnes of cargo in September — a 2.2 percent, year-over-year, increase — has also seen a surge in the number of scheduled freighter flights, Changi’s Ng Koon Ling told Air Cargo World.

October's cargo-handling numbers were a bit flat, representing only a 0.4-percent, year-over-year, increase, but Koon Ling said scheduled cargo flights at Changi increased 17 percent, year-over-year, in the beginning of November. Key to this growth, she explained, was Lufthansa’s commencement of freight operations to Europe and Singapore Airlines’ launch of twice-weekly cargo service to Frankfurt.

Although Koon Ling praised these routes as critical to Changi’s success, she said airport officials are hoping to add to the list of freight carriers. “To grow Changi Airport’s operations, a key aspect of our strategy is the pursuit of carriers that would offer Changi additional cargo capacity to new and emerging markets,” she told Air Cargo World.

Increasing transshipments is of particular importance to Changi officials, Koon Ling said. Gaining continued recognition for its airfreight hub is another priority, she revealed. Fortunately, Kong Ling believes Changi has the capacity to achieve these goals, regardless of the bleak economic situation.

“Our efforts to constantly engage our cargo partners, and efforts to develop new capabilities — such as the development of Coolport at Changi, which handles perishables — have positioned us well to deal with the impending downturn on the cargo front in view of the current global economic conditions,” she revealed exclusively to Air Cargo World.

It appears that the global economic downturn hasn’t affected Changi Airport’s freight operations too greatly, however. The airport handled 1.38 million tonnes of cargo from January to September, a 2.5 percent, year-over-year, increase.

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