Singapore Airlines (SIA) is cutting 96% of the capacity that it had originally scheduled up to the end of April following the further tightening of border controls around the world over the last week to stem the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
This will result in the grounding of around 138 SIA and SilkAir aircraft, out of a total fleet of 147, amid “the greatest challenge that the SIA Group has faced in its existence.”
The group’s LCC Scoot will also suspend most of its network, resulting in the grounding of 47 of its 49 aircraft.
“The SIA Group diversified its network and set up Scoot to spread its risks and cater to a wide range of passenger and market segments,” the company said in a statement.
“However, without a domestic segment, the Group’s airlines become more vulnerable when international markets increasingly restrict the free movement of people or ban air travel altogether.”
SIA Group added it was unclear when normal services can resume given the uncertainty as to when the stringent border controls will be lifted.
According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, SIA was previously scheduled to operate more than 3 million seats across 10,000 flights between March 23 and April 30. Scoot had 1.4 million seats and 6,300 flights scheduled, while SilkAir had almost 650,000 seats and 4,200 departures.
The latest OAG data shows SIA will operate just 84 flights between March 23 and April 30, with 24,500 available seats. SilkAir will operate 31 flights and have 4,700 seats on offer.
SIA Group said it would “continue to aggressively pursue all measures to address the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.” Measures include discussions with aircraft manufacturers to defer upcoming deliveries, salary cuts for management and a voluntary no-pay leave scheme.
Photo credit: Singapore Airlines