There was a significant increase in passenger demand at both Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Scoot in March 2022, as travel restrictions eased in almost all key markets and the Singapore government increased the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) quota for daily arrivals.
The two airlines in the SIA Group carried a total of 893,000 passengers during the month, up from 544,600 in February 2022. Group passenger capacity (measured in available seat-kilometres) reached 51 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels in March 2022, seven percentage points above the month before. Group passenger load factor (PLF) improved 15.4 percentage points to 54.5 percent (+41.7 percent year-on-year), the highest since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cargo load factor (CLF) was at 72.5 percent in March 2022, or 19.8 percentage points lower year-on-year. Cargo loads (freight tonne-kilometres) rose 16.6 percent on the back of a capacity (capacity tonne-kilometre) increase of 48.3 percent, primarily due to the progressive resumption of passenger flights. The growth in cargo loads was constrained by pandemic controls in China and Hong Kong, which limited exports from those markets. More bellyhold space was also allocated for carriage of passenger bags as passenger load factors improved.
During the month, the Group resumed services to several destinations in Australia and Southeast Asia, as well as to Cape Town (via Johannesburg)2, Gatwick (via Bangkok)3 and Newark. At the end of March 2022, the Group’s passenger network covered 93 destinations including Singapore. This was around two-thirds of the points flown before the pandemic. SIA served 69 destinations4 while Scoot served 43 destinations4 as of end-March 2022.
Singapore took a major step forward in reopening its border from 1 April 2022, allowing fully vaccinated travellers to enter the country without the need to quarantine or to take on-arrival Covid-19 tests. Daily arrival quotas were removed, along with the VTL arrangements. This long-awaited move opens up the entire SIA and Scoot network to eligible customers, offering them even more flexibility and options.
Based on the group’s current published schedule, the group expects passenger capacity to reach around 61 percent of pre-COVID levels by May 2022.