SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group reported a decline in overall passenger carriage for March by 90.2 per cent year-on-year, as border controls and travel restrictions continue worldwide.
"Although many key markets have started the mass roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations, the recovery in international travel demand continued to remain depressed in March 2021," the group said in its March operating results announced on Thursday (Apr 15).
Passenger carriage, measured in revenue passenger-kilometres, for SIA was down by 88.9 per cent year-on-year in March, while SilkAir saw its passenger carriage fall 92.9 per cent year-on-year.
Budget carrier Scoot's passenger carriage dropped by 95.9 per cent year-on-year.
SIA expanded its network to 47 destinations, up from 41 the month before. This was due in part to a progressive transfer of services from the SilkAir to SIA - such as Chongqing, Male, Phnom Penh and Phuket - and the reintroduction of flights to Haneda Airport and the opening of sales to Yangon.
SilkAir also reintroduced flights to Cebu in March. The subsidiary operates flights to five destinations as of the end of March: Cebu, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Medan and Singapore.
The number of destinations served by Scoot grew by one to 18, with the addition of flights to Perth. Operations to South Asia and Europe remained suspended.
All route regions served by the SIA Group continued to record year-on-year increases in cargo load factor in March.
"SIA Cargo registered a monthly cargo load factor of 92.3 per cent, which was 24.1 percentage points higher year-on-year, as cargo traffic, measured in freight tonne-kilometres, rose marginally by 0.8 per cent on the back of a capacity contraction of 25.5 per cent," said the group.
READ: SIA Group's passenger carriage down 96.6% but 'calibrated expansion' expected in coming months
HOPE FOR "MEASURED RECOVERY"
The SIA Group said it remains hopeful for a "measured recovery" in international air travel demand. The group expects its passenger capacity to be around 27 per cent of pre COVID-19 levels by June.
SIA will reinstate services to Denpasar from May, while Scoot will restart flights to Macau in April, and Cebu, Clark, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in May.
"The progressive transfer of narrow-body routes from SilkAir to Singapore Airlines is on track." the group added.