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2 July 2009

Singapore’s top leader sees aviation challenges after crisis

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The current economic crisis has seriously dampened air travel, Singapore must get ready to meet new aviation challenges by restructuring and strengthening its airport operations and regulatory system, Chinese news agency quoted Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew as saying Wednesday.

Speaking at the launch of the new Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Changi Airport Group on Wednesday, he said that the emerging economies in Asia and the Middle East will lead the next wave of demand for air travel and Singapore has to be ready for this.

He believed that once the global economy recovers, the aviation industry will bounce back. Pointing out that the Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines (SIA) must not be left behind in the different operating environment, he said that full service carriers should re-examine their business models and form new alliances or mergers.

Lee stressed that the corporatised Changi Airport Group must have the drive and initiative to capitalise on the new opportunities and meet the increasing competition.

“As a corporation, it is better able to aggressively pursue overseas business ventures and investment opportunities,” Lee said, adding that “It has the advantage of Changi as a brand name to enlarge its international presence. This will give greater flexibility to respond quickly to changes in the industry and in the global business environment. It will also attract and retain top talent to compete with global airport operators.”


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