Singapore Airlines September traffic still down 98%

COVID-19 border closures weigh heavily although some countries are easing restrictions

Airlines like Singapore Air have had to ground thousands of planes. (PHOTO: Steve Strike/Outback Photographics)

Use this oneSingapore Airlines (SIA) announced Thursday (15 October) that its September traffic was still down almost 100 percent, saying “demand for air travel continued to remain soft” as border controls and strict travel restrictions remained in place in most countries to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Overall passenger carriage (measured in revenue passenger-kilometres) was lower by 98.1 percent, resulting in a group passenger load factor (PLF) of 17.2 percent, a decline of 67.8 percentage points year-on-year. SIA’s capacity was 88.9 percent lower compared to last year’s, with a skeletal network in operation that connects Singapore to 30 metro cities, up from 28 in August with the addition of Surabaya and Taipei. Passenger carriage declined 97.7 percent, resulting in a PLF of 17.4 percent.

SilkAir’s passenger carriage decreased by 99.1 percent year-on-year against a 98.1 percent cut in capacity. PLF was 37.1 percent. SilkAir continued to operate flights to Cebu, Chongqing, Kuala Lumpur and Medan, and added Phnom Penh to the list of destinations served.

Scoot’s passenger carriage declined 99.4 percent year-on-year against a contraction in capacity of 95.7 percent, which led to a PLF of 12.5 percent. In September 2020, Scoot increased the number of destinations served to 15, adding Osaka-Kansai (via Kaohsiung), Tokyo-Narita (via Taipei) and Yogyakarta to the network, temporarily suspending Tianjin. Operations to West Asia and Europe remained suspended.

Cargo load factor (CLF) was 29.5 percentage points higher year-on-year as the capacity contraction of 59.4 percent year-on-year outpaced the 39.3 percent decline in cargo traffic (measured in freight tonne-kilometres). All route regions recorded year-on-year increases in CLF in September 2020.

In September the Singapore government announced the addition of Australia (excluding Victoria state) and Vietnam to the list of countries that it has unilaterally opened its borders. Singapore also continued to add additional cities from which passengers can transfer, through Singapore, to other destinations. These positive developments have helped to bolster the SIA Group of airlines’ ongoing recovery from COVID-19.

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