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SIA Group's passenger capacity at 34% of pre-pandemic levels amid VTL demand

SIA Group's passenger capacity at 34% of pre-pandemic levels amid VTL demand

File photo of a Singapore Airlines (SIA) plane taken on Oct 9, 2021, as it prepares for landing at Changi Airport in Singapore. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group said on Monday (Nov 15) that passenger capacity recovered to 34 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in October, amid a "meaningful resumption of travel" as Singapore expanded its quarantine-free travel scheme.

Singapore launched its first vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) with Germany and Brunei in September. To date, Singapore has launched 13 VTLs including Australia, Canada and the US.

It will also be launching VTLs with Malaysia, Finland and Sweden on Nov 29. More locations, including Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, were announced on Monday, taking the total number of countries under the scheme to 21.

"In October 2021, SIA Group expanded its vaccinated travel lane network to include Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, in addition to Brunei and Germany," said the group.

"This enabled a meaningful resumption of travel between Singapore and these countries, and consequently led to an increase in passenger carriage on these routes."

The SIA Group includes full-service carrier Singapore Airlines and low-cost carrier Scoot.

In October, the group’s passenger capacity, measured in available seat-kilometres, grew 6 per cent month-on-month, said SIA.

Passenger traffic, based on revenue passenger-kilometres, rose 13.9 per cent compared to the previous month.

Airlines under the group ferried about 189,700 passengers in October, compared to 49,000 in the same month last year. Of the passengers carried in October, 165,500 were on SIA and 24,200 were on Scoot.

SIA Group last week reported a narrower second-quarter loss due to cost-cutting efforts, record cargo revenue and an improvement in passenger numbers from a low base.

The net loss of S$427.6 million for the three months to Sep 30 was down from a record S$2.34 billion loss a year earlier, when COVID-19 restrictions hammered air travel and the airline took large impairment charges on older planes.

At the end of October, the group’s passenger network covered 66 destinations, including Singapore.

Scoot will launch a new long-haul route to London’s Gatwick Airport via Bangkok, with three-time weekly services commencing in March 2022, subject to regulatory approval, the group said.

To cater to the year-end peak, Scoot will also operate some seasonal flights to Gatwick from Dec 16 to Dec 28. London will be Scoot’s third destination in Europe, after Athens in Greece and Berlin in Germany.

On the VTL front, the group’s network will also include Australia, South Korea and Switzerland this month.

Canada will be added to the network when the seasonal Singapore-Seattle-Vancouver services commence from Dec 2. In addition, the group is finalising flight schedules between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

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Source: CNA/aj

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