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Budget Terminal passenger volume to hit one million mark by end-2006
By Dominique Loh, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 31 October 2006 1859 hrs

Photos  of


SINGAPORE : Singapore's budget terminal is expected to hit the one million mark by the end of the year.

The volume of low-cost carrier flights in Singapore has climbed to 11.3 percent of total flights, and plans are already in place to expand the terminal to meet the growing demand.

In the first month of business, Singapore's Budget Terminal saw about 72,800 travellers checking in to fly on two low-cost carriers operating from there - Singapore-based Tiger Airways and Philippine's Cebu Pacific.

And the budget travel sector is expected to soar in the years ahead.

"At the rate we are going, we have about a 100,000 passengers now a month, so we will cross a million easily in the next couple of months. Our capacity is about 2.7 million, so there's still space to grow," says Transport Minister Raymond Lim.

The budget terminal is linked to 16 cities with about 244 weekly scheduled flights. That is a 97 percent increase in the number of flights since the terminal was operational. And about 657,000 passengers have gone through the departure gate.

The volume of air commuters could climb even further, now that Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are moving forward with more sky links, as well as the recent proposal of an open skies agreement between ASEAN and China.

"We've always been ready and we have a liberal air policy. I think they (Malaysians) know our views on this matter but we need to see their proposal, so we know how best to take it forward," says the Transport Minister.

"I think that it is a good proposal, that we should work towards open skies between ASEAN and China because this will facilitate trade, investment and tourism flow. So it's a move in the right direction," he adds.

When the time comes, the budget terminal will be up to the challenge of handling the traffic.

Built with an expandable capacity, it can handle a maximum of five million passengers a year. - CNA /ls



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