Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) gears up for the increase in demand for air travel. The flag carrier of Singapore chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong confirmed to media that the airline has activated almost 80% of its aircraft fleet and recovered a major part of the workforce it had pre-pandemic.
Speaking to media on November 12, 2021, the head of the airline confirmed that currently, the company employs 92% of the flight crew and 86% of the cabin crew it used to have before the global demand slump. In the meantime, the carrier also reactivated 79% of the fleet.
The decision was made based on expectations that since Singapore has relaxed air travel restrictions for passengers traveling from and to ten countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, and South Korea, exempting vaccinated travelers from compulsory quarantine, the airline may see a significant boost.
“At the level we are operating now, which is 37% of pre-COVID capacity, going up to 43% in December, we are quite comfortable with this return rate,” the CEO explained.
While China, which is considered as a major market for Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY)‘s services, will not likely to open its borders shortly, Malaysia, another important international route for an air carrier, is set to increase the frequency of flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur on November 29, 2021.
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 the UK, have been added.
Gosh added: “A China [a major market for Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) – ed. note] opening is not likely to happen at the moment, but we are ready to capitalize on any other opportunities that come our way.“
Following the report on the half-year financial results released on November 11, 2021, for the six months to September 30, 2021, the carrier has already noticed signs of a gradual recovery as it managed to reduce its net loss. As for the first half of 2021, Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) 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%.
Meanwhile, its 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.