Singapore Airlines narrows losses on returning passengers, record cargo revenue

Pojana Jermsawat /

Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) reduced its net loss in the first half and said it expects to operate 43% of its pre-COVID-19 capacity by December 2021 as travel demand gradually returns.

Primarily relying on international traffic, Singapore Airlines’ (SIA1) (SINGY) passenger operations have been hit hard by the pandemic, although strong cargo demand has been a bright spot. 

Singapore started re-opening its borders on September 8, 2021 when it launched vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) between Brunei and Germany. Since then, travel lanes to major destinations, including Australia, France, South Korea, the US and UK, have been added. 

“Singapore’s quarantine-free VTL arrangements support the safe and gradual recovery of Changi Airport as a major air hub,” Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) said in its half-year financial results statement on November 11, 2021.  “Air travel demand is expected to grow as vaccination rates rise, especially in countries within the Asia Pacific region, and as government regulations ease further across key markets.”

For the six months to September 30, 2021, the carrier reported a net loss of SGD837 million ($618 million), smaller than the loss of SGD3.47 billion ($2.5 billion) one year ago, as revenue rose 73%. Cargo revenue reached a record high of SGD1.9 billion ($1.4 billion), driven by ongoing capacity crunch in both ocean and air freight, as well as supply chain disruption.

“The traditional year-end cargo peak period is expected to see strong demand, supported in part by retail inventory restocking before the peak shopping season,” Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) said in the statement. 

Singapore said passenger capacity was at 32% of pre-pandemic levels as of September 2021. This will increase to 43% by December 2021 and it plans to serve 73 destinations, equivalent to just over half of its network before the COVID-19 crisis hit.  

Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) confirmed plans to resume Airbus A380 operations to London from November 18, 2021 and to Sydney from December 1.  


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