SINGAPORE: The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group suffered a 98.3 per cent year-on-year drop in passenger carriage in August as air travel demand "continued to be severely curtailed" by COVID-19 border controls and strict travel restrictions.
This is despite the Singapore Government opening up additional destinations from which passengers can transfer through Singapore to other points in the SIA Group network, according to the group's operating results published on Tuesday (Sep 15).
SIA's capacity was 90.5 per cent lower compared to last year's, with only a skeletal network in operation connecting Singapore to 28 metro cities, up from 25 in July with the addition of Istanbul, Milan and Perth. The airline's passenger carriage declined 97.9 per cent.
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SilkAir's passenger carriage decreased by 99.3 per cent year-on-year against a 98.4 per cent cut in capacity.
Meanwhile, Scoot's passenger carriage declined 99.3 per cent year-on-year against a 96.1 per cent cut in capacity.
Cargo load factor (CLF) was 24.7 percentage points higher year-on-year as the capacity contraction of 58.8 per cent year-on-year outpaced the 40.9 per cent decline in cargo traffic, said the group, adding that all route regions recorded year-on-year increases in CLF in August.
SIA also said it will suspend services to Canberra, Dusseldorf, Stockholm and Wellington as part of a review of its network due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These stations will close as a result of the decision.
"The SIA Group continues to review its fleet and network plans as it prepares for a very different aviation landscape due to COVID-19. The Group will continue to closely monitor demand patterns in international air travel, and be flexible and nimble in deploying capacity in response," the group said.
SIA Group announced last week that it would cut 4,300 jobs across its three airlines, though the number of employees affected might be reduced to 2,400 following measures like the recruitment freeze in March, early retirement scheme for ground staff and pilots, and voluntary release scheme for cabin crew.
The group had said that the decision was taken in light of the "long road to recovery for the global airline industry due to the debilitating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic", adding that it is in "an even more vulnerable position" than most other major airlines as it does not have a domestic market.