Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) has posted its first quarterly profit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to travel demand picking up and strong cargo operations.
The carrier said on February 24, 2022 that it posted a net profit of $85 million for the third quarter of its financial year, up from a loss of $142 million one year ago. Revenue in the three months to December 31, 2021 more than doubled to $2.3 billion.
“This came amid a significant step-up in air travel to and through Singapore in the October-December 2021 period, as well as continued robust demand and strong yields in the cargo market,” the company commented in a financial results statement.
Cargo revenue rose almost 82% to $1.35 billion, setting another new quarterly record and exceeding the $1 billion for the first time. Cargo yields were up 27% amid the ongoing supply chain disruption and capacity crunch.
Singapore Airlines Group carried 1.1 million passengers during the quarter, which it noted was double that of the second quarter. The airline group restored services to 12 cities in India during the quarter, to Houston via Manchester and to several points in South East Asia. It also launched services on the Singapore-Vancouver-Seattle route, while low-cost unit Scoot launched operations to Gatwick via Bangkok and resumed services to Jeddah.
The demand for Vaccinated Travel Lane routes also enabled SIA to reactivate A380 operations to London and Sydney. The group described the VTL system as a “game-changer” for the group.
“While demand should continue to recover, especially on VTL services, passenger traffic is likely to moderate in the fourth quarter after the end of the year-end holiday season,” the group commented.
However, the company noted that fuel prices have been trending higher and volatility is expected to persist. Oil prices broke through $100 a barrel on February 24, 2022, the highest level in seven years, after Russia invaded Ukraine.
“The Group will continue to keep a tight rein on costs, while supporting the expansion of operations in line with demand,” the group declared.
As of 31 December 2021, SIA’s operating fleet comprised 121 passenger aircraft and seven freighters while Scoot had 50 passenger aircraft in its operating fleet.
SIA took delivery of one Airbus A350 and four Boeing 737-8 aircraft during the quarter, while Scoot took delivery of two A321neo aircraft. These aircraft are due to commence operations within the group from January 2022.