Category Archives: Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines unveils its new Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 cabin

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched its highly-anticipated new cabin products, which will be rolled out on its Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 fleet in the coming weeks. This elevates the customer experience on board the Airline’s narrowbody aircraft fleet to a level similar to its widebody aircraft, offering a consistent and premium travel journey across the entire Singapore Airlines network.


All of SIA’s 737-8 aircraft will have 154 seats in two classes, 10 in Business Class and 144 in Economy Class, with new cabin products featuring bespoke elements that have been designed especially for the SIA customer.

The lie-flat Business Class seats have been designed by London-based Factorydesign, and manufactured for Singapore Airlines by Thompson Aero Seating. The Economy Class cabin will feature the latest generation sleek and slim-line seats, which have been built by Collins Aerospace. The 737-8 cabin has been designed with a special focus on ergonomics, helping to ensure that everything is within easy reach for customers.

The aircraft feature Panasonic’s X-Series seat-back in-flight entertainment, allowing all customers to enjoy the latest KrisWorld entertainment content. The fleet is also fitted with Panasonic’s in-flight Wi-Fi service, as well as mobile data connectivity services.

Singapore Airlines has invested around S$230 million on the development, design, and installation of the new industry-leading cabin products, which elevate the standard for short- and medium-haul travel on board narrowbody aircraft.

SIA’s 737-8 aircraft will progressively enter into service on short- to medium-haul flights across the Airline’s network in the coming weeks. This includes services to points in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, and Thailand, subject to regulatory approvals. Further details on these flights will be announced in due time.

Business Class
Designed by London-based Factorydesign and manufactured for Singapore Airlines by Thompson Aero Seating based in Craigavon Northern Ireland, the Business Class seat features ample storage spaces, high-definition touch screen monitors that provide in-flight entertainment akin to a home theatre experience, as well as high-quality material and finishes, to provide a luxurious and private space for the customer.

Seats in the Business Class cabin are arranged in a forward-facing staggered 2-2, 1-1, 2-2 abreast configuration.

Measuring up to 22 inches in width, the Business Class seat reclines directly into a comfortable full-flat bed (76 inches). These seats are made with premium materials with bespoke embroidery in custom patterns and textures. The seat cushions and covers use the same soft furnishings as those found on our medium-haul aircraft, providing a higher level of comfort for short-haul flights.

The Business Class seat is designed to wrap smoothly in a cocoon-like formation around the customer, which enlarges personal space and provides better privacy. A divider between the adjacent seats provides a new stowage area for personal items, as well as the bi-fold meal table. Other features include USB charging ports and in-seat power supply, a reading light with adjustable brightness, mood lighting, and a pocket under the monitor that provides easy stowage during taxi, take-off and landing.

The two standalone Business Class seats (seats 12B and 12J) have additional table-top and stowage spaces, and a side stowage compartment equipped with a mirror and LED light.

Economy Class
The Economy Class seat, built by Collins Aerospace, offers improved space and comfort with its sleek slim-line design. The latest generation seat model in its class, the seat comes with a contoured backrest for better support and four-way adjustable headrest with foldable wings.

A personal 10-inch high-definition touch-screen monitor with an integrated USB charging port, is also fitted on every seat.

In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity
With the installation of Panasonic’s X-Series in-flight entertainment system on SIA’s Boeing 737-8 fleet, customers can now enjoy the latest entertainment content on KrisWorld across all SIA flights. Amongst the various features, a new state-of-the-art 3D flight map will be rolled out. This includes over 20 distinct map views for various flight phases, such as 3D satellite imagery, local and global views, as well as a personalized feature that enables customers to see the aircraft’s relative position to their selected map location throughout their flight.

Customers can browse and create personalized playlists of movies, TV, or music available on KrisWorld via the award-winning SingaporeAir mobile app, even before they board the aircraft, as well as control the media playback directly from their personal electronic devices.

SIA’s Boeing 737-8 fleet is also fitted with Panasonic’s in-flight Wi-Fi service, with a host of next generation connectivity benefits from fast internet connectivity to streaming capability. The Wi-Fi service will be powered by new modem and connectivity solutions, which uses advanced satellites to cover high air traffic areas with high throughout (HT) and extreme throughput (XT) spot beams. Customers would also be able to use their smart phones to send and receive messages, e-mails, and browse online via the mobile data service.

Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines expand their codeshare

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-323 9M-MTM (msn 1431) DPS (Pascal Simon). Image: 955890.

Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines (SIA) have announced that they will reactivate their codeshare arrangement between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and expand it to include 15 domestic points in Malaysia, seven destinations in Europe, and two cities in South Africa.

This follows the announcement that Malaysia and Singapore will launch a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) arrangement beginning November 29, 2021, providing customers with seamless journeys for their business or leisure travel.

The substantial expansion of the codeshare arrangements, within Malaysia and beyond the two countries, comes amid the gradual reopening of international borders and an increase in the demand for air travel.

Malaysia Airlines will deploy its Airbus A330 aircraft and operate daily return flights from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore between November 29 to December 31, 2021, and gradually increase to 35 weekly flights between January to March 2022, also utilizing its Boeing 737-800s.

SIA will operate 28 weekly flights from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur from November 29. Details of Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines flight schedules on the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route:

From November 29, 2021, Singapore Airlines customers will be able to progressively connect on Malaysia Airlines services out of Kuala Lumpur as the carrier adds 15 new codeshare destinations in Malaysia. These are Alor Setar, Bintulu, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Kuching, Labuan, Langkawi, Miri, Penang, Sandakan, Sibu, and Tawau.

From January 1, 2022, Malaysia Airlines customers will be able to connect on SIA’s flights from Singapore to seven points in Europe – Barcelona, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Moscow, Munich, Rome, and Zurich – as well as Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa.

Other points in the Singapore Airlines or Malaysia Airlines network will be progressively added to the codeshare arrangements.

This significant expansion of the codeshare arrangements is the first phase of a wide-ranging commercial agreement that Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines signed in 2019. Under this agreement, the airlines plan to undertake a joint business arrangement between Malaysia and Singapore, subject to regulatory approvals. This would allow the partners to coordinate flight schedules, offer joint fare products, align corporate programs, and explore tie-ups between the KrisFlyer and Enrich frequent flyer programs. Both carriers will also explore joint tourism marketing initiatives and multi-stop itineraries, which would enable customers to travel to more destinations in Malaysia through Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Top Copyright Photo: Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-323 9M-MTM (msn 1431) DPS (Pascal Simon). Image: 955890.

Malaysia Airlines aircraft slide show:

Malaysia Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Singapore Airlines expects to resume Boeing 737 MAX flights this year

From Reuters:

“Singapore Airlines Ltd expects to resume Boeing Co 737 MAX flights before the end of the year, a senior executive said on Tuesday, in a positive sign for the model’s return in Asia.

The city-state’s aviation regulator approved 737 MAX flights in September.”

Above Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.

Singapore Airlines to operate its Airbus A380s on short-haul flights to Kuala Lumpur

From CNN:

“Singapore Airlines confirmed to CNN Travel that the A380 will also be deployed on an “ad hoc basis” on flight routes SQ106 (SIN-KUL) and SQ105 (KUL-SIN) three times a week from November 4 to December 2, 2021.
The A380 will also be flying on Singapore Airlines’ SQ126 (SIN-KUL) and SQ125 (KUL-SIN) route four times a week from November 5 to December 3.
Singapore Airlines also recently announced plans to reinstate its grounded A380s on select return flights from Singapore to London from mid-November.”
The airline also updated its planned schedule:

From November 1, 2021, Singapore Airlines will restore flight services between Frankfurt and New York. In addition, SIA will resume its services between Hong Kong and San Francisco from  November 2, 2021. This is part of the safe and gradual restoration of our global network.

We currently operate to the following regions and countries:

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

Singapore Airlines launches seasonal flights to Seattle/Tacoma and Vancouver, adds San Francisco to vaccinated Travel Lane network

 

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SJA (msn 364) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 955506.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is launching four-times weekly seasonal services to Vancouver, Canada and Seattle/Tacoma, the United States of America (USA), from December 2, 2021 to February 15, 2022. Two of the weekly Seattle-Vancouver-Singapore flights will operate as Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) services, providing eligible customers quarantine-free entry into Singapore.

SIA is also converting its daily nonstop services from San Francisco, USA, to Singapore, to designated VTL services from Wednesday, October 20, 2021.

These provide additional quarantine-free travel options for customers who wish to travel to and from North America, on top of the earlier announced VTL services from Los Angeles and New York.

SIA will deploy the 253-seater Airbus A350-900, with 42 Business Class seats, 24 Premium Economy Class seats and 187 Economy Class seats, on the Singapore-Vancouver-Seattle service.

Flight SQ28 will depart from Singapore at 0915hrs, arrive at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 0730hrs, and depart Vancouver at 0840hrs before arriving at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) at 0930hrs.

Flight SQ29, SIA’s twice-weekly designated VTL service, will depart from Seattle at 1100hrs, arrive at Vancouver at 1145hrs on the same day, depart from Vancouver at 1315hrs, and arrive in Singapore at 2205hrs the following day. Customers who fly on SQ29 must ensure that they meet all applicable VTL eligibility criteria.

SIA will also operate SQ27, a twice-weekly Seattle-Vancouver-Singapore service that is not a designated VTL flight. This would cater to customers who are ineligible to enter Singapore under the VTL arrangement.

On the San Francisco service, flight SQ34 departs Singapore at 1840hrs and arrives at 1905hrs. The return flight SQ33 departs San Francisco at 2205hrs and arrives in Singapore at 0545hrs two days later1 . For this service, SIA operates the 161-seat Airbus A350-900 ULR with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

The addition of San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver expands the SIA Group’s VTL network to 17 cities. SIA will operate VTL services from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Paris, and Rome from 19 October 2021, and Seoul from 16 November 2021. These are on top of the existing VTL services from Bandar Seri Begawan, Frankfurt, and Munich. Scoot, SIA’s sister airline, will begin VTL flights from Berlin from 20 October 2021.

Multi-city itineraries within VTL countries are allowed if customers meet the eligibility criteria. Customers traveling on the VTL flights also enjoy fuss-free transfers via Singapore Changi Airport to 59 destinations within the SIA Group network.

Top Copyright Photo: Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SJA (msn 364) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 955506.

Singapore Airlines aircraft slide show:

SIA Group’s quarantine-free vaccinated travel lane network expands to 14 cities

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SMW (msn 341) SEA (Joe G. Walker). Image: 955469.

The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group has expanded its quarantine-free Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) network to 14 cities, with additional points expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

This comes as Singapore widened its VTL arrangements to include Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. These are on top of the existing VTL arrangements with Brunei and Germany, which began in September 2021.

Singapore Airlines will operate VTL services from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Paris, and Rome starting October 19, 2021. SIA’s VTL services from Seoul will begin on November 16, 2021. Today, SIA operates VTL services from Bandar Seri Begawan, Frankfurt, and Munich.

Scoot, SIA’s sister airline, will operate VTL flights from Berlin from October 20, 2021.

Multi-city itineraries within VTL countries are allowed if customers meet the 14-day travel history requirement, which includes transit countries. For example, a traveller may fly from Singapore to Paris, and then Paris to Amsterdam, and still be eligible for the VTL flight from Amsterdam to Singapore. However, a customer who flies from Singapore to Los Angeles via Tokyo will not be eligible for SIA’s nonstop VTL flight from Los Angeles if the stay in Los Angeles is less than 14 days.

Customers traveling on the VTL flights can also enjoy fuss-free transfers via Singapore Changi Airport to 59 destinations within the SIA Group network.

Schedule:

Top Copyright Photo: Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SMW (msn 341) SEA (Joe G. Walker). Image: 955469.

Singapore Airlines aircraft slide show:

Singapore Airlines unveils a “Vaccinated Travel Lane – VTL” between Singapore and Germany

Singapore Airlines has made this announcement:

The Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Singapore and Germany has officially launched today! Designated VTL flights from Germany to Singapore will commence on September 7, 2021.

With the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), you can now enjoy quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Germany if you meet all VTL requirements.

Flying from Germany to Singapore via the VTL

Before booking a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flight from Germany to Singapore, please ensure that you meet all VTL eligibility criteria and required health measures. These include:

  • Being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna or other World Health Organisation Emergency Use Listing vaccines.
  • Being fully vaccinated in either Germany or Singapore, with the final dose completed at least 14 days prior to arrival in Singapore.
  • Having stayed in Germany and/or Singapore for at least 21 consecutive days before departure.
  • Taking a pre-departure Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within 48 hours before flight departure, an on-arrival PCR test at Singapore Changi Airport, as well as up to two post-arrival PCR tests in Singapore.
  • Flying only on dedicated VTL flights.

Short-term visitors and Long-Term Pass holders are required to apply for a Vaccination Travel Pass (VTP) issued between 7 and 30 days prior to their intended date of entry into Singapore. Applications for the Vaccination Travel Passes open from 1 September 2021.

Singapore citizens and permanent residents are not required to apply for the Vaccinated Travel Pass, but must show their vaccination status on the HealthHub app or present proof of their vaccination taken in their country of departure at check-in.

Short-term visitors who require a visa for travel to Singapore must separately obtain a visa. They are advised to do so after receiving their VTP approval and before departure.

They must also purchase travel insurance, with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 for Covid-19-related medical treatment and hospitalization costs, prior to travel to Singapore.

These visitors must also use the TraceTogether app in Singapore to facilitate contact tracing.

You must have the intention to enter Singapore, as transit passengers are not eligible for the VTL flights and will not be allowed to board the designated VTL flights. Non-VTL travelers are also not allowed to board the designated VTL flights.

To view the full VTL requirements and health measures, please click here.

Scoot resumes flights to Berlin, awarded the highest 5-Star rating in the Skytrax Covid-19 Airline Safety Audit

Scoot has resumed flights to Berlin from Singapore via Athens.

In other news, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Scoot, the two passenger airlines within the SIA Group, have been awarded the highest 5-Star rating in the Skytrax Covid-19 Airline Safety Audit. This follows a comprehensive assessment of their health and safety measures for customers and staff across the entire travel journey. Scoot is also the first lowcost carrier in the world to get this 5-Star rating from Skytrax.

Skytrax evaluated over 190 safety and hygiene protocols at SIA and Scoot during the audit. This included cleanliness at the airport and on board flights, social distancing measures, usage of face masks and sanitizers, and other hygiene improvement systems. These were then certified based on a professional and The Skytrax 5-Star Covid-19 Safety Ratings are the latest recognition of the SIA Group’s industry-leading response to the Covid-19 pandemic. SIA and Scoot have implemented wide-ranging measures to enhance customer and staff health and safety, and ensure the highest level of care, across the end-to-end journey. They have also introduced innovative digital solutions to enhance the travel experience, mitigate risks of Covid-19 transmission, and reduce friction for customers.

SIA Group narrows its fiscal first quarter net loss to $409 million

SIA Group (Singapore Airlines) issued this financial report:

Passenger traffic up as the SIA Group progressively rebuilds its network

Robust cargo performance continues to lead revenue contribution

SIA Group ready to seize revenue opportunities as borders re-open

Strong balance sheet provides foundation to navigate uncertainties and secure growth

GROUP FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

First Quarter FY2021/22 – Profit and Loss

Border controls and travel restrictions remained largely in place during the first quarter of FY2021/22, despite the growing pace of Covid-19 vaccinations in Singapore and in key markets for the SIA Group around the world. The Group’s passenger traffic (measured in revenue passenger-kilometres) grew year-on-year on the back of a calibrated increase in passenger capacity (measured in available seat-kilometres), which rose to 28% of pre-Covid-19 levels by the end of the quarter in June 2021. The passenger load factor (PLF) for the first quarter increased 4.6 percentage points year-on-year to 14.8%.

An increase in both passenger and cargo flown revenue resulted in Group revenue increasing by $444 million (+52.2%) year-on-year to $1,295 million. Cargo flown revenue grew by $214 million (+32.4%), as the calibrated resumption in passenger flights contributed to an increase in cargo capacity (+46.9%) and loads carried (+68.2%). Cargo load factor increased 11.3 percentage points to 89.1%, while yields moderated from the exceptionally high levels during the same period last year. Overall, the strong cargo revenue performance for the first quarter reflected the healthy demand fundamentals and an ongoing capacity crunch in the sector.

Group expenditure fell by $319 million (-16.9%) to $1,569 million. Net fuel cost increased by $205 million (+132.3%) to $360 million mainly due to higher fuel prices, as well as an increase in the volume uplifted in tandem with the capacity expansion. There was a fuel hedging gain of $13 million, compared to a loss of $71 million for the same period last year. Mark-to-market gains of $72 million were also recognized on ineffective fuel hedges, reversing the $464 million losses recognized in the prior year. Non-fuel expenditure was at $1,281 million, up $12 million (+0.9%) as higher costs from the increased flying activities were partially mitigated by lower depreciation after surplus aircraft were removed from the fleet.

As a result, the SIA Group recorded a first quarter operating loss of $274 million, an improvement of $763 million (+73.6%) from the $1,037 million operating loss recorded last year. The Group reported a net loss of $409 million for the quarter, an improvement of $714 million (+63.6%) against last year. This was primarily driven by better operating performance and the absence of non-cash impairment charges relating to the liquidation of NokScoot.

The 115 passenger aircraft in Singapore Airlines’ operating fleet comprised 23 777-300ERs, 12 A380s, 55 A350s, 15 787- 10s, one A330 and nine 737-800NGs.

The 49 passenger aircraft in Scoot’s operating fleet comprised 10 787-8s, 10 787-9s, 21 A321ceos, five A320neos and three A321neos.

FLEET AND NETWORK

Three new Airbus A350s entered into service with SIA during the quarter, while two Airbus A330s were removed from the operating fleet for lease return checks. As at quarter end, Singapore Airlines’ operating fleet comprised 115 passenger aircraft2 and seven freighters.

Scoot added its first three Airbus A321neo aircraft into its operating fleet, while one Airbus A320ceo was removed for lease return checks. The inaugural A321neo flight was from Singapore to Bangkok on 28 June 2021, offering better operating economics and giving Scoot additional flexibility to add capacity as demand returns. At the end of the quarter, Scoot’s operating fleet consisted of 49 passenger aircraft3.

As at 30 June 2021, the SIA Group had an operating fleet of 164 passenger aircraft and seven freighters with an average age of five years and 11 months. This makes it one of the youngest fleets in the airline industry, helping to improve underlying operating efficiency and lower carbon emissions.

A calibrated expansion of the SIA Group’s network continued during the quarter. At the end of June 2021, the Group’s passenger network covered 63 destinations including Singapore, up from 60 compared to the previous quarter. SIA served 49 destinations while Scoot covered 24 points. The Group’s cargo network comprised 76 destinations including Singapore, up from 72 as at the end of the prior quarter. Scoot resumed services to Athens, Cebu, Clark, Kuala Lumpur, Macau and Manado during the quarter.

Based on our current published schedules, the Group expects passenger capacity to be around 33% of pre-Covid-19 levels in the second quarter of FY2021/22. By end of September 2021, the SIA Group expects to serve around 50% of the points that were part of our passenger network before the onset of Covid-19. SIA re-instated services to Cape Town (via Johannesburg) on 1 July 2021, as well as services to Manchester and Rome (via Copenhagen) from 16 July 2021. Scoot re-introduced flights to Sydney from 6 July 2021, and will resume flights to Berlin (via Athens) from 10 August 2021 pending regulatory approvals. No. 03/21 29 July 2021 Page 4 of 5

PAVING THE WAY AHEAD

The SIA Group’s strong balance sheet and access to liquidity provides the resources to navigate the crisis at hand, and positions us for growth as we recover from the impact of the Covid-19 virus on our business.

Continuously innovating and improving our product and service offerings remains central to our brand promise. During the quarter, SIA became the first airline to offer live in-flight online shopping when KrisShop’s e-commerce platform became available via the KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system.

Vaccinations provide added safety and reassurance for our customers and staff members. Today, all frontline ground staff and around 98% of the active pilots and cabin crew in the SIA Group have been vaccinated. As a result, a vast majority of our flights are operated by vaccinated pilots and cabin crew.

The Group continues to pursue initiatives that reinforce our long-standing strategy of working towards decarbonization and environmental sustainability across our operations. During the quarter, the SIA Group announced its commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Our continued investment in new generation aircraft, which reduce fuel burn by up to 30% versus prior generation aircraft on comparable missions, is the most effective immediate step towards this target. We are also pursuing additional levers, including the adoption of low-carbon technology such as sustainable aviation fuels and carbon offsetting. We have also launched a voluntary carbon offset program that allows SIA and Scoot passengers, as well as our cargo customers, to offset their emissions.

OUTLOOK

The growing pace of mass vaccination exercises across many countries provides hope for further recovery in international air travel demand. However, the risk of new variants and fresh waves of Covid-19 infections in key markets remains a concern. The recovery trajectory will be dependent on government regulations, vaccination rates, and the risk profile of individual regulatory authorities. The SIA Group strongly supports all efforts to facilitate the safe resumption of international passenger travel.

Cargo demand fundamentals remain strong, with Purchasing Managers’ Indices for most of the key export economies still in expansionary territory and inventory restocking in progress. While overall airfreight demand is expected to be healthy in the coming months, seasonal fluctuations and tighter pandemic controls in certain locations will create short-term volatility. Overall industry airfreight capacity continues to be tight as passenger flights, and hence bellyhold cargo capacity, have yet to recover fully. No. 03/21 29 July 2021

The SIA Group’s Transformation program aims to drive digital leadership and excellence in product and services, while enhancing health and safety measures across the end-to-end travel journey. This will ensure that customers continue to have a world-class experience when they fly with us in the new normal. We will also actively pursue new engines of revenue growth, as well as initiatives to achieve a more competitive cost base to secure our financial sustainability. We are also investing in our people to ensure that they are able to navigate our current challenges, and be equipped with the necessary skills for the future.

The SIA Group will remain nimble and flexible during this time, and be alert to all possible revenue and growth opportunities that may arise. We will also remain steadfast in exercising cost discipline across the Group.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SMU (msn 186) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 954459.

Above Copyright Photo: Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SMU (msn 186) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 954459.

Singapore Airlines aircraft slide show:

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.

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