The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group saw a significant step-up in passenger demand in December 2021, on the back of a continued expansion of its Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) services and the year-end travel season. Eight cities joined the group’s VTL network during the month.
Group passenger carriage was close to 600,000 in December 2021, almost double of the previous month’s figure. Group passenger capacity (measured in available seat-kilometres) grew 20.5 percent month-on-month, reaching 45 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels. Group passenger load factor (PLF) for December 2021 increased 17.4 percentage points month-on-month to 46.5 percent (+32.8 percentage points year-on-year).
Cargo operations registered a cargo load factor (CLF) of 78.8 percent in December 2021, or 9.9 percentage points lower year-on-year. The 35.8 percent growth in loads (freight tonne-kilometres) trailed behind the capacity (capacity tonne-kilometre) expansion of 53 percent, arising from the increase in bellyhold capacity on passenger flights. All route regions recorded lower CLF during the month.
At the end of December 2021, the group’s passenger network covered 85 destinations including Singapore, up by 13 compared to the end of last month. This was mainly due to the launch of the Singapore-Vancouver-Seattle and Singapore-Bangkok-Gatwick routes, as well as the resumption of flights to Houston (via Manchester) and several points in India and South East Asia. The Singapore Airlines full-service network served 632 destinations while Scoot, SIA’s low-cost carrier subsidiary, served 352 destinations as at end of December.
On 22 December 2021, Singapore announced the suspension of new ticket sales for VTL flights for the period from 23 December 2021 to 20 January 2022. Existing bookings on these flights were not affected and VTL services continued to operate as scheduled. Ticket sales have continued on VTL services for travel from 21 January 2022 onwards, but based on an arrival quota that has been cut by 50 percent. The group will continue to manage its network in accordance with the prevailing market conditions and regulations. Based on the current published schedules, the group expects the passenger capacity for January 2022 and February 2022 to be around 47 percent and 45 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels respectively.