Speech by Mr Raymond Lim, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs at Changi Airport Group’s Annual Airport Celebration 2011, Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel, 12 January 2011.
Mr Liew Mun Leong, Chairman of Changi Airport Group, Mr Lee Seow Hiang, CEO of Changi Airport Group, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Good evening. I am pleased to be here this evening and be a part of Changi’s Annual Airport Celebration.
2010 in Review
2010 had been a good year for the aviation industry. Global passenger traffic rose in tandem with improving economic conditions, and airlines worldwide reported better bottom lines not seen for many years.
Changi Airport also enjoyed its best showings in its history. In terms of passenger traffic, Changi handled a record number of passenger movements, surpassing the key milestone of 40 million for the first time.
Just as important is that Changi Airport continues to be well regarded by air travelers and members of the aviation industry. In 2010, Changi Airport added a further 25 best airport awards to its already impressive list of over 340 awards since its opening in 1981.
Awards won last year include the prestigious ‘Best Airport in the World’ award from leading UK travel publication ‘Business Traveller’, which Changi has won for 23 consecutive years, Skytrax’s ‘World’s Best Airport’ award, and the ‘Best International Airport Award’ from Condé Nast Traveler.
These awards reinforce Changi’s reputation as the world’s “Most Awarded” airport, and one that Singaporeans can truly be proud of.
Service Transformation – Becoming more Customer Centric
Service excellence will continue to be a hallmark of the Changi Experience. This is evidenced by Changi Airport’s improved score of 73.7 points in the 2010 Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore, which is above the average of 68.7 points for the transportation and logistics industry.
It is good that Changi Airport Group continues to enhance the Changi Experience when it embarked on the Customer-Centric Initiative, or CCI, that includes a number of innovative service projects to create a personalised, stress-free customer experience.
Indeed, the task of raising customer service levels is a particularly challenging one for Changi Airport. To provide everyone with a sense of the magnitude of this task: CAG, the airport operator, employs about 1,300 staff. But the airport community, which provides many of the essential services and facilities, has a total workforce of over 28,000.
Collaborating with over 200 companies and agencies, and coordinating the efforts of tens of thousands of “Changi Ambassadors” to deliver a single, consistent Changi Experience to all customers is no easy task. Your challenge is aptly summarised by the tagline “Many partners, many missions, One Changi”.
Today, we celebrate the achievements of Changi’s customer service champions– 18 winners of this year’s Changi Airport Service Awards. Though you come from diverse backgrounds, through your exemplary acts of service, each of you has helped to deliver an airport experience that has left a positive and lasting impression on customers.
I congratulate you on your well deserved awards. And to the Changi Airport community, I would like to say a big thank you for your tireless efforts in helping Changi to maintain its status as the world’s best airport.
Key Milestones in Singapore’s Aviation History
This year’s Annual Airport Celebration also marks two significant milestones in Singapore’s aviation history.
In 1911, an aircraft piloted by Mr. Joseph Christiaens made a demonstration flight at the old race course (now Farrer Park). Though seemingly insignificant at that time, this event marked the birth of civil aviation in Singapore, and this year, we celebrate the first centennial of civil aviation in Singapore.
Coincidentally, 2011 is also the year in which we celebrate Changi Airport’s 30th Anniversary.
When Terminal 1 opened its doors in 1981, it served 8.1 million passengers. In the space of 30 years, Changi’s traffic has increased fivefold. Indeed, Changi has grown to become more than just a gateway into Singapore – it is now also a major gateway to Asia, and one of the world’s busiest international airports.
Looking ahead, 2011 looks set to be another exciting year, and Changi is well positioned for continued growth and to further strengthen its status as a premier air hub.
On this note, I wish you all the best.