SN: Do you see low-cost carrier (LCC) traffic becoming more than 35% of Changi Airport’s traffic, or do you see it remaining less than that?
LTY: In 2013, 31% of passengers at Changi Airport traveled on low-cost carriers, compared to 28% in 2012. This percentage has been increasing over the recent years, and is likely to continue to increase. I note that in Europe, LCCs have about half of the market. We have no reason to believe that LCCs in Asia do not have similar potential.
The LCC model in Asia is evolving. Asia has become the base for many medium- and long-haul LCCs. We are also seeing more passengers connecting between LCCs and full-service carriers (FSCs). Changi Airport is in the process of redeveloping the former Budget Terminal into a new Terminal 4, which will serve both LCCs and FSCs. T4 is designed to facilitate efficient passenger processing and quick aircraft turnarounds, which are especially important to the operations of LCCs.
SN: Are there any international trade agreements or air services agreements coming up that will help Singapore’s aviation/airline industry? What’s the latest on ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Open Skies? What can we expect to see happen at the end of 2015?
LTY: We are keen to work with willing country-partners on air transport services liberalization. This is a win-win, because it facilitates growth in bilateral trade, investment and tourism, and provides a broader range of choices to consumers in both countries.
ASEAN Open Skies will substantially liberalize air services in the ASEAN region. I expect that by 2015, ASEAN member states will grant unlimited market access to one another’s carriers.
SN: Is anything being done to improve air links between Singapore and Indonesia?
LTY: We are working closely with the Indonesian authorities and carriers to continually improve air links. Over the last year, flights between Singapore and Indonesia grew by about a third.
SN: Do you see any opportunity to maybe turn Seletar Airport into a secondary commercial airport for Singapore?