SINGAPORE, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Passenger traffic at Singapore's Changi Airport grew 2.7 percent last year, its slowest growth in five years as the economic slowdown begins to hurt travel and aviation, the Straits Times reported on Thursday.
Changi Airport, one of Asia's busiest aviation hubs, handled 37.7 million passengers in 2008 with traffic from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam growing while traffic from Thailand and China fell. Passenger traffic grew 23.1 percent in 2004.
Air freight movement also slipped 2 percent to 1.86 million tonnes last year.
"We acknowledge that 2009 will be a challenging year and recognise the tough operating environment that airlines and airport partners are operating in," Lim Kim Choon, chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, which owns Changi Airport, said in a statement late on Wednesday.
Singapore's transport minister said last year Changi Airport will be split into two entities, one of which will be an airport company placed under state investor Temasek Holdings [TEM.UL]. Changi Airport is Singapore's main airport and its overseas arm owns a stake in China's Nanjing Lukou International Airport and provides management and consultancy services in several countries including Russia, China and India. (Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Sugita Katyal)