Category Archives: Singapore Airlines Cargo

Singapore Airlines Group reports its largest annual loss, deems 414 aircraft to be “surplus”

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-312 ER 9V-SWV (msn 42236) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 950270.

Singapore Airlines Ltd recorded its second-consecutive annual loss, widening to a record S$4.27 billion ($3.20 billion).

The airline issued this report:

Passenger traffic down 97.9% due to global restrictions on international travel • Strong cargo revenues cushioned plunge in passenger contributions • $2.0 billion non-cash impairment charge largely on removal of 45 older aircraft • Proposed issuance of additional mandatory convertible bonds to strengthen Group’s liquidity position in order to navigate crisis and secure future growth • Transformation program reinforces foundation for SIA Group to emerge stronger

GROUP FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

Financial Year 2020/21 – Profit and Loss

The Covid-19 pandemic, which began to spread globally in February 2020, resulted in unprecedented restrictions on international air travel at the start of the financial year. Successive waves of Covid-19 infections and more virulent strains emerged over the course of the 12 months. As a result, the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group’s passenger traffic (measured in revenue passenger-kilometers) shrank 97.9% in the financial year ended 31 March 2021 from a year before.

Group revenue fell by $12,160 million (-76.1%) year-on-year to $3,816 million due to the plunge in passenger flown revenue across Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot – the three passenger airlines within the Group. This was partially offset by higher cargo flown revenue, which rose by $758 million (+38.8%) year-on-year to $2,709 million. Improvements in freighter utilization, deployment of passenger aircraft for cargoonly flights, and removing seats from passenger cabins to create additional volume for cargo partially mitigated the loss of passenger aircraft bellyhold capacity during the pandemic. Strong air cargo demand, especially in key segments such as e-commerce, pharmaceuticals and electronics, provided strong support for both cargo load factors and yields amid tight industry cargo capacity.

Group expenditure came in at $6,329 million, down $9,588 million (-60.2%). Net fuel cost fell $3,620 million (-78.1%) to $1,016 million due to capacity cuts and lower fuel prices in the first half of the year. Non-fuel expenditure reduced by $5,472 million (-51.8%) to $5,099 million on the back of capacity cuts, cost-saving initiatives, staffrelated measures, and government support schemes.

Mark-to-market losses of $497 million were recognized on ineffective fuel hedges, following downward adjustments to the expected rate of capacity recovery and the corresponding fuel consumption. This was partially mitigated by a $283 million fair value gain on fuel hedges after a rise in fuel prices in the second half of the year. The Group has paused fuel hedging activity since March 2020.

The Group swung into an operating loss of $2,513 million in FY2020/21, a reversal of $2,572 million from the $59 million operating profit recorded last year.

For the financial year ended 31 March 2021, the Group reported a net loss of $4,271 million, a deterioration of $4,059 million against last year. This was driven by both the weaker operating performance and non-cash impairment charges, partially offset by a $623 million increase in tax credit due to the higher net loss recorded by the Group. The impairment charges include:

• Impairment charge of $1,448 million recorded in the first half on 332 aircraft deemed surplus to fleet requirements. Another $286 million impairment charge on surplus aircraft was recorded in the second half following a further review of the network requirements and market values of the fleet. This pertained mainly to four additional 777-300ERs and eight 737-800NGs deemed surplus to fleet requirements, as well as a further write-down on four of the A320s impaired in the first half due to a reduction in their market values. This brings the total impairment charge on 45 surplus aircraft for the year to $1,734 million.

• Impairment of goodwill of $170 million, that was recorded when SIA first gained control of Tiger Airways in October 2014, after a review of the impact of Covid-19 on business conditions in the first half of FY2020/21.

• SIA Engineering Company’s impairment of base maintenance assets ($35 million) recorded in the first half due to significant decline in hangar revenue projections. Subsequently, a further $2 million impairment charge was recognized in the second half, alongside a $11 million impairment on an investment in an engine program. The total impairment recorded by SIA Engineering Company for the financial year ended 31 March 2021 was $48 million.

FLEET AND NETWORK

The Group operating fleet currently consists of 162 passenger aircraft and seven freighters. This excludes 414 aircraft which are deemed surplus to the Group’s requirements, six Boeing 737 MAX 8s that have been temporarily withdrawn from service, and two aircraft (one Airbus A330 and one Airbus A320) that left the operating fleet in preparation for lease returns.

During the fourth quarter, the Group continued to expand its network in a calibrated manner by resuming services to some destinations, and adding frequencies to some existing points. The transfer of narrow-body services from SilkAir to SIA began on 4 March, starting from Phuket. At 31 March 2021, SIA served 47 destinations including Singapore, up from 38 at the end of December 2020. SilkAir served five destinations, down from eight, while Scoot’s network increased by one to 18 destinations. By the end of the financial year, the Group’s passenger network covered 60 destinations including Singapore, compared to 54 three months earlier. The Group’s cargo network comprised 72 destinations including Singapore, up from 66 as at 31 December 2020.

Based on our current published schedules, the Group expects the passenger capacity to be around 28% of pre-Covid levels by June 2021. By July 2021, the Group capacity is expected to reach around 32% of pre-Covid levels, and we expect to serve around 49% of the points that were flown before the crisis.

Even though mass vaccination exercises are in progress in most of our major markets, the prognosis for the global airline industry remains uncertain. While domestic markets have recovered in some countries, international air travel remains severely constrained and its recovery trajectory is still unclear.

Above Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.

TRANSFORMING TO EMERGE STRONGER AND FITTER

The integration of SilkAir’s narrow-body operations with Singapore Airlines began on 4 March 2021, with the first SIA Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft operating to Phuket. Nine 737-800 NG aircraft have joined the SIA fleet. The integration will deliver greater economies of scale for the Group, and enhance the flexibility of aircraft deployment to meet the demand for air travel as it returns.

Robust health and safety measures have been and continues to be a key focus area for the SIA Group, to safeguard the well-being of our customers and staff. Over 100 touch points have been reviewed throughout the customer journey with enhancements made, supported by digital technologies. These efforts were recognized with both SIA and Scoot being awarded the Diamond certification in the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Health Safety powered by Simpliflying audit of global airlines. The Diamond rating is the highest level attainable, indicating that an airline has put in place hospital-grade health safety measures, processes and training, along with an end-to-end focus on wellness.

SIA is also the world’s first airline to pilot the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass mobile application for digital health verification, further enhancing convenience along the customer journey. SIA plans to integrate the entire digital health verification process into the SingaporeAir mobile app from around mid2021, using IATA’s Travel Pass framework.

The SIA Group was among the first in the industry to vaccinate its frontliners, including cabin crew and pilots, providing added safety and reassurance for both our customers and staff members. Around 98% of SIA Group pilots and cabin crew have signed up for the vaccine, of which 96% have been fully vaccinated with both doses. On 11 February 2021, Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot became among the first carriers in the world to operate flights with a full complement of vaccinated pilots and cabin crew.

SIA is committed to continuously improving its capabilities in transporting high-value, time-sensitive, and temperature-controlled pharmaceutical cargo through its THRUCOOL service. This contributed to SIA’s early readiness to perform the important mission of transporting Covid-19 vaccines safely and reliably. In addition to transporting Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore, SIA Cargo has carried vaccines to countries in Asia and the South West Pacific region, including under the UNICEF vaccine transportation program.

Upon receiving IATA’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators in Perishable Logistics (CEIV Fresh) certification in February 2021, SIA launched THRUFRESH, a new service that transports temperature-sensitive perishable cargo with speed and care.

OUTLOOK

Despite the resurgence of Covid-19 infections in many parts of the world, the growing pace of mass vaccination exercises in key markets provides hope for further recovery in international air travel demand in the second half of 2021. Singapore Airlines strongly supports all efforts to further open borders in a safe and calibrated manner. The Group expects to continue with a measured expansion of the passenger network, and will remain nimble and flexible in adjusting capacity to meet the demand for air travel.

Strong fundamentals continue to drive air cargo demand, with healthy Purchasing Managers’ Index readings across many key export economies. Demand from the e-commerce and pharmaceutical segments, among others, remains robust. SIA is well positioned to capture more Covid-19 vaccine shipments into the Asia Pacific region as vaccine production ramps up and exports grow.

SIA’s new Transformation program has made good progress in its first year despite the headwinds from Covid-19. With a commitment to deliver on its brand promise in product quality and service excellence, the Company has pressed on with a suite of initiatives to enhance customer experience, focusing on measures to safeguard customers’ well-being and reduce friction across the travel journey. SIA will continue to progress its digital transformation journey, prioritizing an enhancement of its core offering and increasing its operational resilience.

SIA is also actively pursuing new engines of revenue growth, as well as initiatives to achieve a more competitive cost base to secure its future financial sustainability. The Group will continue to exercise discipline on costs and cash management.

The Group is grateful to have received strong support from its shareholders, lenders, investors, and the Singapore government, to raise capital, provide liquidity and to manage costs. We are thankful to our customers who continue to support us, and to our staff for their sacrifices and staying resilient. The Group is committed to work closely with key stakeholders within the aviation ecosystem to navigate through the ongoing crisis and emerge stronger.

Top Copyright Photo: Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-312 ER 9V-SWV (msn 42236) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 950270.

Singapore Airlines aircraft slide show:

Singapore Airlines Group’s net profit declines by 55.5% to S$126 million ($97.7 million), reports demand is flat

Singapore Airlines Group (Singapore Airlines, Scoot, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines Cargo) (Singapore) reported its net profit in the first half was down by $157 million (a decline of 55.5%) year-on- year to S$126 million ($97.7 million US).

The group issued this full statement:

GROUP FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

First Half 2014-15

The Group earned an operating profit of $171 million in the first half of the 2014-15 financial year, an improvement of $2 million (+1.2%) over the same period last year.

Group revenue was down $154 million (-2.0%) to $7,587 million, mainly due to lower incidental revenue stemming from reduced compensation pertaining to changes in aircraft delivery slots [see Note 2], and lower income from the lease of aircraft, due to the expiry of leases to Royal Brunei Airlines. Passenger revenue was lower year-on-year (-0.4%), notwithstanding a 1.4% increase in traffic, as a result of yield declines (-1.8%) amid the competitive operating environment and depreciating revenue-generating currencies, led by the Australian Dollar and Japanese Yen. Cargo revenue fell 1.6%, driven by a capacity cut (-3.8%), though this was partially compensated for by better yields and higher load factor.

Group expenditure at $7,416 million declined $156 million (-2.1%) over the previous financial year. Fuel costs after hedging fell $107 million, attributable to lower volume uplifted (-3.2%), the weaker US Dollar against the Singapore Dollar, and a 0.4% decline in jet fuel price after hedging.

Note 1: The SIA Group’s unaudited financial results for the half year and second quarter ended 30 September 2014 were announced on 6 November 2014. A summary of the financial and operating statistics is shown in Annex A. (All monetary figures are in Singapore Dollars. The Company refers to Singapore Airlines, the Parent Airline Company. The Group comprises the Company and its subsidiary, joint venture and associated companies).

Note 2: The settlement agreement was reached in Q1 FY1314 and $92 million was recognised in the first half of FY1314, of which $59 million pertained to change in prior years. $34 million compensation was recognised in the first half of FY2014-15.

Group net profit in the first half was down $157 million (-55.5%) year-on- year to $126 million. The share of results of associated companies fell $154 million, largely attributable to the Group’s share of Tiger Airways’ loss of $129 million, which included material charges relating to the sublease of surplus aircraft and sale of Tigerair Australia. The commencement of equity accounting for Virgin Australia from the second quarter further contributed to the weaker results (-$16 million). Exceptional items accounted for a loss of $10 million in the first half, compared to a net exceptional gain of $22 million last year [see Note 3]. These were partly offset by higher gains on disposal of aircraft, spares and spare engines (+$31 million).

The Parent Airline Company’s operating against the corresponding period last year. Revenue was down $151 million (-2.4%), arising from reduced incidental revenue [see Note 2] and passenger revenue. The fall was nearly offset by a $148 million (-2.4%) reduction in expenditure, due to lower fuel costs after hedging, and stringent cost management. Unit ex-fuel cost was down 3.9% year-on-year.

SIA Engineering’s operating profit declined $19 million (-33.9%). Total revenue fell by $4 million (-0.7%) as a result of lower airframe and component overhaul revenue, offset in part by higher fleet management revenue. Expenses rose by $15 million (+2.8%), primarily as a result of an increase in subcontract services.

SilkAir’s operating profit declined $17 million (-77.3%), as weaker yields (-5.0%) put a drag on revenue and capacity injection (+3.7%) pushed operating expenditure up.

SIA Cargo’s operating loss narrowed by $37 million from last year. With better capacity management, yields and load factor were up 1.9% and 0.2 percentage points, respectively.

Note 3: Exceptional items in the first half of FY1415 pertained to the Parent Airline Company’s provision for settlement with plaintiffs in the Transpacific Class Action ($11 million), SIA Cargo’s additional impairment on two marked-for-sale B747-400F aircraft ($7 million), partly offset by additional gain on sale of Virgin Atlantic Limited (VAL) to Delta Air Lines, Inc. ($7 million), and partial refund of fine on appeal from the Korean Fair Trade Commission ($1 million). Exceptional items in the first half of FY1314 was $22 million, mainly pertaining to gain on sale of VAL ($339 million), partially offset by SIA Cargo’s impairment on four B747-400 aircraft removed from operation ($293 million) and SFC’s impairment loss on its assets with the closure of its Maroochydore operations ($24 million).

Second Quarter 2014-15

Group operating profit for the second quarter improved $45 million (+51.7%) to $132 million.

Group revenue was almost flat at $3,905 million. Passenger revenue increased marginally, as higher passenger carriage was largely offset by a 0.9% decline in yields. Cargo revenue was down 0.5% on the back of lower capacity (-4.1%), but was mitigated by improved yields (+2.8%).

Group expenditure declined $41 million (-1.1%) to $3,773 million. Fuel costs before hedging fell $115 million, partially offset by a loss on fuel hedging, compared to a hedging gain in the same quarter last year (+$76 million).

Group net profit was down $70 million (-43.5%) year-on-year to $91 million. This was largely attributable to weaker results from associated companies (-$138 million), partly mitigated by higher operating profit (+$45 million), and higher gains on disposal of aircraft, spares and spare engines (+$35 million).

FIRST HALF 2014-15 OPERATING PERFORMANCE

The Parent Airline Company’s passenger carriage (in revenue passenger kilometres) increased marginally by 0.1%, while capacity (in available seat-kilometres) dipped 0.2% during the first half of the financial year. As a result, passenger load factor improved by 0.2 percentage points to 79.8%.

SilkAir recorded a 0.4 percentage-point increase in passenger load factor to 69.7%, as its 4.2% growth in traffic outpaced capacity injection of 3.7%.

SIA Cargo reduced its capacity (in capacity tonne-kilometres) by 3.8%. Airfreight carriage (in load tonne-kilometres) declined by 3.4%. Consequently, cargo load factor improved 0.2 percentage points to 62.2%.

No. 05/14 6 November 2014 Page 4 of 6

INTERIM DIVIDEND

The Company is declaring an interim dividend of 5 cents per share (tax exempt, one-tier), amounting to $59 million, for the half-year ended 30 September 2014. The interim dividend will be paid on 27 November 2014 to shareholders as of 18 November 2014.

FLEET AND ROUTE DEVELOPMENT

The Parent Airline Company took delivery of two Airbus A330-300s in the second quarter. As at September 30, 2014, the operating fleet of the Parent Airline Company comprised 105 passenger aircraft – 57 Boeing 777s, 29 Airbus A330-300s and 19 A380-800s, with an average age of 7 years.

During the quarter, SilkAir took delivery of two Boeing 737-800 aircraft, sold one Airbus A320-200 and decommissioned another A320-200 in preparation for return to lessor. As at September 30, 2014, its operating fleet comprised 26 aircraft – 14 Airbus A320-200s, six A319-100s and six Boeing 737-800s.

There was no change to Scoot’s fleet during the July-September quarter, comprising six Boeing 777-200s.

SIA Cargo operated a fleet of eight Boeing 747-400 freighters at September 30, 2014, the same as the previous quarter. It suspended freight operations to Lagos from July 29, 2014, and added services to Amsterdam, Brussels and Delhi in September to cater to seasonal demand.

In the Northern Winter season (October 26, 2014 – March 28, 2015), the Parent Airline Company will increase capacity to Auckland with daily Airbus A380 services, replacing the smaller Boeing 777-300 ER. To cater to peak period demand, three additional weekly services will be operated to Melbourne and Sydney, and two additional weekly services will be operated to Brisbane and Christchurch, from the end of November 2014 to January 2015. In addition, three weekly services will be operated to Sapporo from December 2014 to mid-January 2015. As part of a service restructuring to the Middle East, flights to Cairo and Riyadh have been suspended from October 2014. SilkAir suspended its twice-weekly services to Solo with effect from October 26, 2014. From December 12, 2014, it will begin daily services to Denpasar. Together with the Parent Airline Company, a total of five daily trips will be served between Singapore and the city, subject to regulatory approval. This will bring the combined network of both airlines to 99 cities in 35 countries.

OUTLOOK

The operating landscape for the airline industry remains competitive and challenging, as an uncertain global economic climate and geopolitical concerns persist.

Demand is generally flat, and yields will remain under pressure amid intense competition from other airlines and promotional activities in weaker markets.

Airfreight demand has seen a moderate recovery in recent months, with demand projected to be stronger in the third quarter as a result of the traditional peak period in the lead-up to Christmas. However, overcapacity in the airfreight market is expected to continue to put pressure on yields.

While there has been a reprieve from cost pressures arising from the decline in fuel prices in recent months, there is concern that the decline reflects a slow- down in major economies in the world which could ultimately hurt travel demand.

The Group will continue to track market movements closely and make appropriate adjustments to capacity, while practising cost discipline in all business areas. With a strong balance sheet, the Group is well positioned to meet the challenges ahead.

Analysis of the financial report:

Comment by Kelvin Wong of www.cityindex.com.sg

Earnings per share for 1H 2014/2015 has declined to $0.107 from $0.24 (y/y) which represents a sharp drop of 55%. Similar for Q2 2014/205 which EPS has declined to 7.7 from 13.6 (y/y) which translates to a 76% decline.

This poor performance has been contributed by its subsidiaries’ contribution towards the SIA Group’s operating profit where we see poor performance in SIA Engineering & SilkAir (both decline drastically by 33.9% and 77.3% respectively from 1H 2013/2014 to 1H 2014/2015.)

Going forward, SIA Group is likely to see downside pressure on its bottom-line due to intense competition from budget airline operators and economic risks such as the spread of Ebola that will hamper international travel.

Technically, SIA is still trading in a multi-year sideways configuration since Nov 2011 and in order to see a change of trend to the upside, it needs to break above the key resistance at 10.92

Link to Kelvin’s page at http://www.cityindex.com.sg/market-talk/analysts/kelvin-wong/

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380-841 9V-SKL (msn 058) arrives in London (Heathrow).

Singapore Airlines: AG Slide Show

Singapore Airlines Cargo adds Chongqing in China

Singapore Airlines Cargo (Singapore) added Chongqing in China on November 24 with twice-weekly cargo service.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough.

Singapore Airlines Cargo Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Singapore Airlines Cargo to launch a new cargo route to Frankfurt

Singapore Airlines Cargo (Singapore) will launch a twice-weekly cargo route to Frankfurt on November 2.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough.