28 April 17 The Straits Times by ZHAKI ABDULLAH
Twenty-five awards were given out last night to airlines that contributed to the growth and development of the Singapore air hub over the past year, as part of the 12th annual Changi Airline Awards.
The ceremony, organised by Changi Airport Group (CAG) and held at The St Regis Singapore, was attended by Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng.
The top five airlines and airline groups, based on passengers last year, were Singapore Airlines Group, followed by Jetstar Group, AirAsia Group, Cathay Pacific Airways and Lion Group.
Singapore Airlines Group also topped the list for the highest cargo volume, followed by Cathay Pacific Airways, FedEx Express, China Airlines and EVA Air.
The partner of the year award was given to delivery firm DHL Express, which in October launched its fully automated South Asia Hub at the Changi Airfreight Centre.
The $140 million facility, the firm's largest infrastructural investment here, tripled DHL's cargo-handling capacity to 628 tonnes during the peak processing window, and increased its parcel-sorting speed to 24,000 shipments and documents per hour - a sixfold improvement.
CAG chief executive Lee Seow Hiang said Changi Airport will "continue to transform" to meet future challenges. "We will do so by catering supply for future growth, as well as working with our partners to grow sustainable demand for aviation services."
He mentioned the Airport Collaborative Decision Making initiative as an example of Changi Airport adding capacity to the airport ecosystem.
The initiative has enabled a reduction of 90 seconds in the average taxiing time for departing flights during peak hours, which has translated into fuel savings for airlines.
Mr Lee said CAG is pursuing avenues for "sustainable growth" with its partners in the long term, such as growing new passenger segments for airlines.
"These include meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions, fly-cruise out of Singapore, and low-cost long-haul travel such as forthcoming services by Scoot and Norwegian to Athens and London respectively," he said.
Last year, Changi Airport handled a record 58.7 million passengers, a growth of 5.9 per cent year-on-year.
The airport, which also added four new airline partners and eight new city links last year, is expected to receive 60 million passengers this year.