Singapore Airlines Group (SIA) narrowed financial loss on robust cargo performance in the first quarter of 2021. However, the prospects of swinging into profit remain dimmed, as the airline’s passenger load factor grew by 4.6% and reached 14.8% for the first quarter of 2021.
SIA narrowed a net loss to $409 million in Q1 2021, an improvement of $714 million against Q1 2020. This was driven by a strong cargo performance as well as “the absence of non-cash impairment charges relating to the liquidation of NokScoot”.
“The strong cargo revenue performance for the first quarter reflected the healthy demand fundamentals and an ongoing capacity crunch in the sector,” read the SIA’s statement released on July 29, 2021.
As for cargo demand, the load factor increased to 89.1% in the first quarter of 2021. The Group’s cargo network comprised 76 destinations including Singapore.
Despite narrowing losses, SIA’s outlook for the future seems gloomy, as the group expects to reach 33% of the pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter of 2021. According to SIA, the trajectory of recovery will be dependent on government border control regulations and vaccination rates.
“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,” SIA in the statement.