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Big jump in SIA Group's passenger traffic; capacity expected to reach 61% of pre-COVID levels by May

Big jump in SIA Group's passenger traffic; capacity expected to reach 61% of pre-COVID levels by May

A Singapore Airlines plane is parked beside Scoot aircraft on the tarmac at Singapore's Changi Airport on Mar 15, 2021. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: A total of 893,000 passengers flew on Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Scoot last month, an almost nine-fold increase from a year ago as travel restrictions continue to ease. 

SIA Group's latest operating results showed that its two airlines carried 790 per cent more passengers in March compared to a year ago. The 893,000 passengers last month is up from the 544,600 in February 2022.

“There was a significant increase in passenger demand at both Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Scoot in March 2022, as travel restrictions eased in almost all key markets and the Singapore government increased the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) quota for daily arrivals,” said SIA Group on Monday (Apr 18). 

SIA Group said passenger capacity last month reached 51 per cent of what it was before the pandemic, up seven percentage points from the month before.

With the easing of border controls, the group said it expects passenger capacity to increase further and reach around 61 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels by May 2022.

Singapore reopened its borders to all fully vaccinated travellers, removing all existing vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) and unilateral opening arrangements from Apr 1. 

Under the new measures, all fully vaccinated travellers, as well as children aged 12 and below, were able to enter Singapore with just a pre-departure COVID-19 test. 

“This long-awaited move opens up the entire SIA and Scoot network to eligible customers, offering them even more flexibility and options,” said SIA Group.

The group passenger load factor was 54.5 per cent in March, a 15.4 per cent increase from the month before. The figure is also a 41.7 per cent rise from the same time last year.

This was the highest since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All route regions served by the SIA Group recorded a year-on-year fall in cargo load factor in March. Overall cargo load fell 19.8 percentage points year-on-year to 72.5 per cent in March. 

In March, the SIA group resumed services to several destinations in Australia and Southeast Asia, in addition to Cape Town, Gatwick and Newark – bringing the number of destinations it served to 93.

As of the end-March, Singapore Airlines served 69 destinations with Scoot flying to 43 destinations - around two-thirds of the points flown before the pandemic, said the group. 

Source: CNA/yb(ac)

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