Category Archives: Singapore Airlines

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 sells and leases back 11 aircraft

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SMD (msn 037) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 952962.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has completed sale-and-leaseback transactions for 11 aircraft, comprising seven Airbus A350-900s and four Boeing 787-10s, raising approximately S$2.0 billion in total.

The transactions were arranged by four different parties, as follows:

Lease Arranger Aircraft
Aergo Capital Limited 1 Airbus A350-900
1 Boeing 787-10
Altavair 4 Airbus A350-900s
EastMerchant / Crianza Aviation 1 Airbus A350-900
2 Boeing 787-10s
Muzinich and Co. Limited 1 Airbus A350-900
1 Boeing 787-10
Total 11

 

SIA has successfully raised approximately S$15.4 billion in fresh liquidity since 1 April 2020, including these sale-and-leaseback transactions. The amount also includes S$8.8 billion from SIA’s successful rights issue, S$2.1 billion from secured financing, S$2.0 billion via the issuance of convertible bonds and notes, as well as more than S$500 million through new committed lines of credit and a short-term unsecured loan.

SIA continues to have access to more than S$2.1 billion in committed credit lines, along with the option to raise up to S$6.2 billion in additional mandatory convertible bonds before the Annual General Meeting in July 2021.

During this period of high uncertainty, as the airline industry continues to navigate the unprecedented challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the SIA Group will continue to explore additional means to raise liquidity as necessary.

Mr Goh Choon Phong, Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer, said: “The additional liquidity from these sale-and-leaseback transactions reinforces our ability to navigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic from a position of strength. We will continue to respond nimbly to the evolving marketing conditions, and be ready to capture all possible growth opportunities as we recover from this crisis.”

Top Copyright Photo: Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SMD (msn 037) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 952962.

Singapore Airlines aircraft slide show:

Singapore Airlines to become the first airline to pilot IATA’s Travel Pass App

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be the world’s first airline to pilot the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass mobile application for digital health verification, starting with passengers traveling from Singapore to London from March 15 to 28, 2021.

This marks the second phase of SIA’s digital health verification process trials, which is based on the IATA Travel Pass framework.

Passengers with mobile phones running on Apple’s iOS operating system will be invited to download the IATA Travel Pass app, and create a digital ID comprising their profile photo and passport information. They can also insert their flight information into the app.

Subsequently, they can book their pre-departure Covid-19 test at one of seven participating clinics in Singapore via a dedicated online portal. They can then register at the clinic using the digital ID and flight information in the app. They will be able to view their test results, as well as confirmation status to fly, directly on the app. IATA’s Timatic registry will provide the back-end information on the Covid-19 testing and entry requirements.

Participants will need to show their confirmed status in the app to the check-in staff in Changi Airport before flight departure. In line with current regulatory requirements, they will also need to bring a physical copy of their health certificate that is issued by the clinic where they took their Covid-19 test.

By consolidating the verification of health credentials into a single app, participants can expect a faster and more seamless check-in process. Participants will have full control over how their personal information is shared, as the data is stored locally in the mobile phone and not in any central database. This is critical given the highly sensitive nature of health data.

If successful, the pilot will pave the way for the integration of the entire digital health verification process into the SingaporeAir mobile app from around mid-2021, again using IATA’s Travel Pass framework.

SIA will continue to work closely with its partners in Singapore and around the world in the facilitation of these trials, and towards the eventual restoration of a seamless travel experience for its customers.

Singapore Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Singapore Airlines aircraft slide show:

Singapore Airlines, Scoot and SilkAir operate first flights with full set of vaccinated pilots and cabin crew

Singapore Airlines Group made this announcement:

All three passenger airlines within the SIA Group – Singapore Airlines (SIA), SilkAir and Scoot – on February 11 became the first carriers in the world to operate flights with a full complement of vaccinated pilots and cabin crew.

The first services with a full set of vaccinated crew are SIA flight SQ956, which departed Singapore for Jakarta, Indonesia on February 11, 2021 at 0930hrs local time (GMT+8), Scoot’s TR606 which departed for Bangkok, Thailand at 0930hrs, and SilkAir’s MI608 which departed for Phnom Penh, Cambodia at 1630hrs.

The Singapore government has prioritized the aviation sector in the country’s vaccination exercise. This reflects the sector’s importance, as well as the SIA Group’s crucial role in Singapore’s economic recovery and the fight against Covid-19.

Operating crew within the SIA Group have responded very positively to the exercise, with more than 90% of cabin crew and pilots signing up for the vaccine to date.

Mr Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Airlines, said, “We are very encouraged by the strong take-up rate for the vaccine from our colleagues. Vaccinations will be key to the reopening of borders and to enhancing travel confidence, in tandem with robust testing regimes and the wide-ranging safe management measures that are in place on the ground and in the air. They offer greater protection for our people and provide an added layer of assurance to our customers.”

Singapore Airlines defers Airbus and Boeing deliveries

Singapore Airlines has made this announcement:

The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group has reached agreements with Airbus and Boeing to revise its aircraft delivery schedule. As a result, some of the aircraft in the SIA Group’s order book will be delivered over a longer period than originally contracted, with the delivery stream spread out beyond the immediate five years.

This will enable the SIA Group to defer more than $4 billion of capital expenditure between FY20/21 and FY22/23 to later years. It would also recalibrate the rate of introduction of capacity, following the disruption to the demand for air travel as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to spreading out its aircraft delivery stream, SIA has been able to respond to changes in its projected long-term fleet needs beyond FY25/26 with the conversion of 14 Boeing 787-10 aircraft into 11 additional Boeing 777-9 aircraft.

As a result of the agreements, the projected capital expenditure over the period FY20/21 – FY24/25 is revised as follows:

Projected Capital Expenditure
(last disclosure-May 2020)
Revised Projected Capital Expenditure
Aircraft (S$’mil) Other Assets (S$’mil) Total (S$’mil) Aircraft (S$’mil) Other Assets (S$’mil) Total (S$’mil)
FY20/21 5,000 300 5,300 2,800 300 3,100
FY21/22 5,400 300 5,700 3,700 300 4,000
FY22/23 4,500 200 4,700 4,100 400 4,500
FY23/24 4,300 200 4,500 3,800 300 4,100
FY24/25 4,000 200 4,200 4,000 300 4,300

The revised SIA Group order book as of February 9, 2021 consists of:

Aircraft Model Total
Airbus A320 Family 35
Airbus A350-900 15
Boeing 737-8 31
Boeing 787 Family 20
Boeing 777-9 31


“The agreements with Airbus and Boeing are a key plank of our strategy to navigate the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. They allow us to defer capital expenditure and recalibrate the rate at which we add capacity, aligning both with the projected recovery trajectory for international air travel,” said Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong.

“At the same time, they retain our commitment to operating new generation aircraft that will enable the SIA Group to continue offering greater comfort and innovative products to customers, further drive operating efficiency, and support ongoing efforts to materially lower our carbon emissions. These will help to cement our leadership position in the airline industry as it recovers from the pandemic.”

Singapore Airlines plans to be the first airline to vaccinate its work force

Singapore Airlines intends to vaccinate its front-line workers as part of a national effort. Front-line workers in the aviation and maritime industries will be vaccinated within the next two months.

The airline hopes to be the first airline in the world to vaccinates its work force.

Singapore Airlines starts trials on digital verification of COVID-19 test results and vaccination information

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has started trials on a new digital health verification process, which will be the first in the world to be based on the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass framework. This will offer customers the ability to securely store and present information related to CVID-19 tests, as well as their vaccination status in the future.

This service will initially be offered from December 23 to customers traveling on flights operated by Singapore Airlines from Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. If successful, this could be extended to other cities in the SIA route network.

Customers who take their COVID-19 tests at selected clinics in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur would be given either digital or paper health certificates with a QR code. Airport check-in staff and Singapore’s immigration authority would be able to verify the authenticity of these certificates via a secure mobile app, and ensure that the customers meet Singapore’s entry requirements. Customers without a digital certificate can also present the paper version for manual verification.

This is a faster and more secure way to validate a passenger’s health credentials than the existing protocols, speeding up both the airport check-in process and the immigration entry process into Singapore. It would make it easier for SIA customers to control their information, reduce friction during their travel journey, and result in a more seamless experience with the aid of digital technologies in the new normal.

IATA’s Timatic registry will provide the back-end information on the COVID-19 testing and entry requirements. This is part of the modular Travel Pass solution, which aims to allow travelers to easily and securely manage their travel in line with national requirements for COVID-19 testing and vaccine information.


Singapore Airlines also plans to integrate the entire process into the SingaporeAir mobile app from around mid-2021, again using the Travel Pass framework. This would support the drive towards a secure and convenient industry standard for the verification of COVID-19 test and vaccinations.

The verification is enabled by an application developed by Affinidi, a Temasek-founded technology company enabling portable and verifiable data credentials.

SIA will work closely with its partners in Singapore, including the Ministry of Transport, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) in the facilitation of these trials and towards the eventual restoration of a seamless travel experience for its customers.

Singapore Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Singapore Airlines aircraft slide show:

Singapore Airlines updates its schedules through January, the return of the Singapore 737!

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir will continue to restore services and rebuild their network in the coming months. In addition to the services that were announced earlier this month, SIA will reinstate flights to Nagoya and San Francisco between December 2020 and January 2021. Both carriers will also increase frequencies on selected services.

Scoot’s services to Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Perth will be temporarily suspended, while SIA and SilkAir will increase their frequencies on those routes. At the same time, SIA and SilkAir will temporarily suspend services to Penang, Surabaya and Taipei while Scoot will operate to these destinations at higher frequencies. These changes, which are subject to regulatory approvals, are expected to take place in November and December 2020.

The affected travel period for these destinations are as follows:

Kuala Lumpur: From 17 November 2020
Manila: From 4 December 2020
Penang: From 8 December 2020
Perth: From 5 December 2020
Surabaya: From 9 December 2020
Taipei: From 16 December 2020

Customers with existing bookings on the affected flights for Penang, Surabaya and Taipei will be accommodated on Scoot’s flights, and receive notifications of the new flight details from 23 November 2020.

The adjustment of services between SIA, SilkAir and Scoot are the result of a detailed review to determine which airlines in the SIA Group portfolio are best suited to meet evolving customer and cargo demand.

As a result of these changes, the Group’s passenger capacity will reach approximately 19% of its pre-Covid-19 levels1 by the end of January 2021.

The SIA Group continues to grow its passenger capacity and resume selected services in a safe and calibrated manner. This is partly driven by recent moves to ease restrictions on both transit and inbound passengers in a safe and gradual manner, helping to support an increase in travel demand. This also comes amid some early signs of optimism about a recovery in air travel, as well as ongoing positive developments in both testing regimes and potential vaccines. Capacity increases are also underpinned by continued strong demand for air cargo around the world, with available freight space remaining constrained compared to pre-Covid-19 levels.

We are currently flying to the following countries and regions:

  • South East Asia
    • Brunei; Cambodia; Indonesia; Malaysia; Thailand; The Philippines; Vietnam
  • North Asia
    • China; Hong Kong SAR China; Japan; South Korea; Taiwan, China
  • West Asia and Africa
    • Bangladesh; Maldives; Nepal; South Africa
  • South West Pacific
    • Australia; New Zealand
  • Europe
    • Denmark; France; Germany; Italy; Spain; Switzerland; The Netherlands; The United Kingdom; Turkey
  • The Americas
    • The United States

Photo: Singapore Airlines. The SilkAir 737s are now getting the Singapore livery as SilkAir is gradually merged into the parent company.

SIA Group reports first half net loss of $3.5 billion, will retire seven Airbus A380s

Singapore Airlines Group (SIA Group) has issued this financial report:

The SIA Group reported a net loss of $3.4 million for the first half ending on September 30, 2020.

The group has also deemed surplus the following aircraft:

 

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com.

Seven Airbus A380s

Four Boeing 777-200/200ERs

Four Boeing 777-300s

Nine Airbus A320s

Two Airbus A319s

Read the full report.

Singapore Airlines aircraft photo gallery: