Changi Airport Group (CAG) has launched a Growth and Assistance Incentive (GAIN) programme to strengthen the airport’s “hub status” and anchor Singapore as a major air gateway to and from the region. It is committing a total of SG$100 million through various initiatives aimed at lowering costs for airlines, boosting passenger traffic and improving operational efficiency at Changi Airport.
To stimulate traffic demand, CAG will invest in destination marketing campaigns to promote Singapore in major source markets like Australia, China, India, Indonesia and Russia. More details on its marketing plans will be updated.
CAG will work with the Singapore Tourism Board as well as travel partners in these markets to increase the awareness of Singapore and spur travel demand from these countries. These efforts will also support the development of new city links to Singapore.
In a press release, CAG said that while passenger traffic at Changi Airport has grown since the industry’s recovery after the global financial crisis in 2008/09, a number of market factors – some unique to the region – have contributed to traffic decline.
Moreover, currency movements have seen the rise of a much stronger Singapore Dollar versus key travel markets such as India and Indonesia, affecting inbound tourist travel to Singapore. The continued political uncertainty in Thailand and, more recently, reduced Chinese demand for travel to Southeast Asia has also dampened passenger traffic to and from these key markets, said CAG.
Just last month to counter the decline of visits from Chinese tourists, Changi Airport paired up with Singapore Tourism Board to launch a new travel campaign. The campaign titled ‘Rediscover Singapore from your Heart’ saw a total investment of SG$1 million. The travel campaign will last five months until October.
Lee Seow Hiang, CAG’s chief executive officer, said: “While we cannot iron out the volatilities of the industry cycle, we believe that GAIN will provide helpful temporary cost relief as airlines implement the necessary measures needed to adjust to the evolving market environment.”
Under the GAIN scheme,from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015, all airlines operating at Changi Airport will enjoy an across-the-board reduction in operating costs. In addition, CAG will introduce a new package which will reward airlines for growing transfer traffic at Changi Airport.
CAG also said that it is keen on working with airlines to raise efficiency of the latter’s terminal operations and will provide funding support. For example, airlines are now being encouraged to come onboard the FAST@Changi initiative which covers a range of self-service options for departing passengers.