What are the greatest opportunities and challenges facing Changi Airport?
The vibrancy of the entire Asia-Pacific region presents tremendous growth opportunities for Changi. Singapore has recently seen a significant renewal of its tourism offerings, with the annual Formula 1 Night Race and the two new integrated resorts, which include the first Universal Studios theme park in South East Asia. There are more exciting developments to come in the next few years, such as Gardens by the Bay and the Mandai River Safari. These will boost the number of visitors to Singapore in the years ahead. I think our greatest challenge is ensuring we continue to provide our customers, both airlines and passengers, with the best infrastructure, operational efficiency and service at Changi, encapsulated in what we call the ‘Changi Experience’.
What have been the top achievements at the airport in the past year?
We have seen strong double-digit growth in passenger traffic this year. In 2009, traffic dipped only marginally by 1% – proof that our market is resilient. We continued to receive awards, which are positive feedback that our passengers enjoy themselves at Changi. These include the Business Traveller Best Airport in the World award, which we won for the 23rd consecutive year, and the Skytrax World’s Best Airport award.
What are the goals for 2011/12?
We will continue to grow our traffic and connectivity. Singapore has been renewing its tourism offerings, so it is important that our airport continues to provide the necessary capacity and service to facilitate our expected growth in visitors.
What has been your most significant recent new route announcement?
Without a doubt, it is Finnair’s announcement that it will launch daily non-stop flights between Helsinki and Singapore from May next year. This shows that Singapore continues to be a relevant and viable destination and hub for long-haul carriers.
How does Changi differentiate itself from its competitors in Asia-Pacific?
I think all our competitors are doing a great job in building up their respective hubs. We strive to provide our airline partners with a personal touch in our relationships with them.
How did you start your career in aviation?
I have been an avid aircraft fan for many years and had been pursuing this as a hobby. In 2000, I came across a job opportunity at the then Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and I jumped at it. Thankfully, they appreciated my industry knowledge gained through my personal interest and gave me the job.
What characteristics does someone working in air service development need?
Interest and passion for the industry is important. As the work also entails analysing numbers and networking, having an analytical mind and an outspoken personality are also important.
What type of work or job would you do if you didn’t work in aviation?
I would be a travel consultant – I love to travel!
What’s the best thing about living in Singapore?
The climate and the food are wonderful, but I would say that, as I was born and raised here.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
I love beach destinations and my favourites include Boracay, Krabi, Phuket and Bali.
What’s your ‘little known’ fact?
I need to be ‘chauffeured’ 24/7 as I have never learnt how to drive.
This issue appears in Routes News 2010 Issue 6