Changi Airport increases support for air cargo sector

Monday, 24 December 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

For the first six months of 2013, rebates for landing fees at Changi Airport will be raised to 50% for all scheduled freighter flights.

 The initiative, amounting to Sin$4.5 million, brings Changi Airport Group’s (CAG) total support for the air cargo sector to close to Sin$20 million since the start of FY2012/13.

In March 2012, CAG announced a Sin$15-million cargo support package for FY2012/13 consisting of a 20% landing fee rebate for freighter flights, partnership funding support for new cargo development initiatives, as well as up to 20% rental rebates for cargo tenants leasing CAG cargo facilities at the Changi Airfreight Centre.

While passenger traffic at Changi has been growing steadily over the past year, the air cargo sector has been facing downward pressure due to falling yields of airfreight carriers, as well as persistently high jet fuel prices.

The International Air Transport Association has reported that the global cargo tonnage is likely to contract 2.0% in 20123. In Singapore, the manufacturing sector has declined for four consecutive months, and the country’s growth forecast for 2012 has been cut to around 1.5% on the back of a sharp contraction in electronics manufacturing for Q3 20124.

Correspondingly, total cargo throughput at Changi Airport has declined 2.7% year-on-year to 1.65 million tons for the first 11 months of 2012. For the month of November 2012, Changi Airport handled 152,000 tons of cargo, a decrease of 5.1%compared to November 2011.

However, despite the overall decline in cargo volumes at Changi Airport, some segments such as pharmaceuticals, live animals and perishables have shown moderate improvements, registering increases of more than 5% year-to-date.

Lee Seow Hiang, CAG’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our cargo industry partners have expressed continued concern about the outlook for the sector given the ongoing uncertainty about the health of the world’s major economies. Hence, CAG has decided to provide this additional support to moderate operating costs for cargo airlines at Changi Airport. This is our commitment to building strong partnerships, in good times as well as bad.”

Noor Azizah Aziz, Cargolux Airlines International’s Country Manager, Singapore, said: “This additional rebate is definitely a welcomed move in these challenging times. It also shows that CAG is keeping in close touch with the realities of the industry.”