23 August 2013

Can Senai Airport Be Supplement to Changi Airport?

After Prime Minister Mr. Lee announced ambitious plan for Changi Airport expansion by mid 2020s, I believe there are certain benefited bodies from this plan, my watch list for this theme would be SATS, SIA Engineering, and ST Engineering etc.  
Now my concern to Senai Airport is that, can it be supplement to Changi Airport after the ambitious plan was announced? 
PM Lee mentioned that Changi Airport is proud of Singaporean, as it takes so many years for Singapore to develop one of the best airport in the world. With this airport, tourism industry and logistic industry continue to groom.  I noticed that until now, Senai Airport only provides little international routes to neighbor country such as Indonesia (Surabaya). However, the good news is that AirAsia provides bus services from Singapore to Senai, so the tourists may make use of this service to travel to any attraction in Malaysia via Singapore International Routes and Senai Transit services. 
Nonetheless, I am in doubt whether Senai Airport can be a truly international airport as its location is just too near to Changi Airport and Malaysia government definitely will only focus on its KLIA2 airport project. Let's see how it goes in next few years. 

SINGAPORE, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Singapore's ambitious project to double its air passenger handling capacity by the mid-2020sis set to extend its lead over neighbors like Kuala Lumpur,Bangkok and Jakarta, whose airports are struggling with congestion and construction delays.
Changi, Southeast Asia's biggest and most popular international airport, is keen to seize a greater share of aboom in regional traffic, mindful of competitors' plans to grow into international hubs.
The increased capacity also plays into the hands of budget carriers such as Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd, Singapore Airlines Ltd affiliate Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd, Qantas Airways Ltd affiliate Jetstar Asia,which is based in Singapore, and Indonesia's Lion Air.
Low-cost carriers such as these account for a third of Changi's traffic, up from virtually zero just eight years ago,and are hungry to expand routes and flight frequencies.
The expansion plans, which include a third runway and fifth terminal by the mid-2020s on top of a fourth already under construction, will double current capacity to around 130 million passengers annually and cement Singapore's leading role as a hub of Southeast Asian business.
Regional traffic predictions point to the need for bold construction plans as airports will have to double their passenger capacity every 12 years just to keep up, said Andrew Herdman, director-general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.
"It's no good thinking in terms of incremental capacity enhancements of terminals or airports or runways," he said.
Driven by growing economies and rising middle-class incomes,passenger traffic in Southeast Asia is expected to rise 7.6 percent a year in the 20 years to 2031, outpacing a global average of 5 percent, according to research firm Strategic Airport Planning Ltd.
Travel between Southeast Asia and South Asia, for example,is expected to grow even faster, at 9.5 percent a year.
"Changi has big growth markets such as Vietnam and Indonesian its region that it can serve. That can drive demand," said Shukor Yusof, aviation analyst at Standard & Poor's.
The rapid rise of Asian low cost carriers caught much of theairport industry unprepared and led to Changi's decision last year to shut a budget terminal and build a larger one, the T4.
"To continue its lead position in the fast-growing Southeast Asian market, Changi needs the space to handle more flights,particularly narrow body flights as it is the short-haul market that is growing the fastest," CAPA, an aviation consultancy,said in a report.
The use of narrow bodied aircraft, such as Airbus A320s and Boeing Co 737s, means the number of individualaircraft movements grows more quickly than the actual trafficgrowth rate, sometimes leading to congestion problems for the region's airports.
That has not stopped the airlines from going ahead withtheir expansion plans. Lion Air has existing orders for morethan 500 Airbus and Boeing jets, while AirAsia has around 350A320s still left in its order book.
"As the airport grows, we will have more capacity and opportunities to grow as well so we definitely welcome the good news," said Logan Velaitham, CEO of AirAsia's Singapore unit,which has long wanted to set up a joint venture in the city.
For now, Changi does not appear to have a serious challenger to its place as Southeast Asia's leading international hub.
It has over 630,000 weekly international seats, more than Kuala Lumpur International Airport's 438,400 and Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi with 274,700 according to CAPA.
For Changi's rivals, setbacks have come in spades.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport has been working on a 45 million passengers a year terminal to replace a low-cost one but has been plagued by delays, with its opening pushed back three years in a row. It is now slated to open in April 2014.
The postponements have prompted scathing comments for operator Malaysia Airports from AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes who has warned that Kuala Lumpur could be left behind by its neighbors.
But even after the extension, which will double its capacity, the airport will still lack an extensive airline network like Changi, with much of its business reliant on AirAsia.
In terms of overall traffic, Changi was outstripped lastyear by Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport which handled 57.8million passengers in 2012, nearly six million more.
But its flights are largely domestic. Soekarno-Hatta was only built for 22 million passengers, resulting in frequent delays and much congestion. Work has started on an expansion,with an eventual goal of 62 million passenger capacity, but the time frame for that is unclear.
Political infighting since 2011 has also delayed Airports of Thailand's expansion of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport.The plans call for capacity to grow by 15 million to 60 million passengers a year by 2017. It also intends to expand the secondary Don Muang airport, which is used by low-cost carriers.
In the wider Asia-Pacific region, other airports are also upping the ante.
Hong Kong International Airport, which handled 56.5 million people in 2012 and is projected to handle 102 million in 2030,is proceeding with a study for a third runway and expanded terminal. Studies are also underway for the expansion of Seoul's Incheon Airport and for a second airport in Beijing, while debate about a second Sydney airport has also been reignited.


  1. actually Senai and Batam can weaken the Changi status. I do agree with PM Lee that Changi will remain as the best airport, either for traveller or for transit. But in a long run, after HSR will be completed, sooner or later it can shaken a little bit of Changi position. Iskandar Project for instance has already invited foreigner esp from China mainland, India, Arab and Singaporean as well. Geographically the strategic location of both Singapore and Johor open for more competitive business and at the same time, it hides more strategy from each other how will they benefit each other. No doubt Singapore has a long effort to become developed countries and M'sia is still in the journey to achieve that. But any mistakes would cost more millions or could be billions to Singapore if the do not want to co-operate with neighbor. Rusdi Kirana the CEO of Lion Air has announced the transformation of Batam Airport to bring more Indonesian to Singapore and M'sia. So what does it mean? In 10-15 years time, once Iskandar has been successfully developed, the HSR, the MRT between Johor and Singapore, the LRT and Tram in Johor, and also the Batam development by Lion Air, Changi would have other strategies to cater other solution....

    1. What I can think of is that, as long as there is no train / better public transport linked to Senai from Changi, passengers would prefer to take the transit flight to KL instead of Senai, unless we can see a boom in Iskandar Malaysia development, which I doubt it can be completed in 10 years time. It is time for Changi to strengthen its leadership being a world class airport operator.

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