Singapore one of the five founding members of ASEAN is one of the world’s leading commercial hubs. It is home to the sixth busiest airport and fourth biggest air cargo hub in Asia. Apart from being a big financial hub, Singapore is also a major tourist destination for globe trotters. 17 million tourists are expected to visit Singapore and tourism revenues are expected to touch 30 billion SG$ by 2015.
Aviation in Singapore started with the Malayan Airlines Limited (MAL) when a plane took off from the Kallang Airport way back in 1947 since then there was no looking back. Air traffic increased drastically over a period of time with better planes, better comfort, speed and in-flight recreation. Aviation helped the economy of Singapore grow to a large extent, it also provided excellent employment opportunities to large number of people in Singapore.
Three different business verticals viz., Passenger traffic, Cargo and Aircraft maintenance thrive due to Singapore’s strategic location. Of the 14 million international visitors (all travel modes put together), more than 11 million international visitors have traveled to Singapore by air during the period January to December 2012. Approximately 3000 flights land into Singapore airports every week with more than half a million seats on offer to tourists.
Most of the leading air carriers in the region have daily flights to Singapore and the long haul carriers do a stop over here. Singapore has 8 airports, Changi International Airport is the largest commercial airport in Singapore. It has three airport terminals with a capacity to handle 66 million passengers annually. Changi International Airport handled 51.2 million passengers in the year 2012, its 4th terminal should be ready by 2017.
Singapore Airlines after the split from MSA has been in operations since 1972 and today is a very respected brand in the whole world. It is the largest airline in the world by market capitalization and flies one of the youngest fleets of aircraft. It is well known for providing superb state of the art entertainment and passenger comfort systems.
Aerospace Maintenance in Singapore : Aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) is a huge business in Singapore. Singapore serves as a link between continents for trans-continental flights and hence major air carriers have stop over here. The Changi International Airport being a major hub for air traffic in Southeast Asia prompted many MRO companies to setup shop in the island nation. The wide bodied passenger jets gets serviced here. To cater to servicing of Corporate Aircraft’s, aerospace majors like Jet Aviation and Hawker Pacific has set up service centers at the Seletar Airport which is a relatively smaller airport. Many more companies have planned to set up MRO units in Singapore in the near future.
Low Cost Carriers : Singapore is an important destination for travelers across the globe and LCC’s has played a vital role in ferrying huge number of passengers to Singapore. Low cost carriers bring in most of the tourist volume, carriers like Singapore based Tiger Airways, Malaysia based AirAsia and Australia based Jetstar Asia Airways have major presence in Singapore. Singapore is a small country with limited air space, with these limitations low cost carriers have to be contended with the few negotiated air rights and operate fewer schedules in the region.