Singapore Airlines reports first annual loss in its 48 year history

Singapore Airlines announced yesterday it’s first-ever yearly loss after the coronavirus pandemic struck the airline’s revenue hard. In total, the airline reported a loss of S$212 million (US$149.14 million) for the year ending March 31, a significant decrease compared to the S$683 million net profit that the airline made last year.

To further put into perspective how much the airline’s revenue was influenced by COVID-19, a S$203 million net profit was made by the carrier in the first three months of 2019, however, it had a S$732 million loss in the same period this year, when the pandemic began to seriously impact air travel.

Singapore Airlines A380 landing in Singapore Changi Airport. Photo by Benjamin Liew | AeroNewsX

Singapore Airlines said that the performance had been strong during the first three quarters of 2019, as well as the beginning of the fourth, thanks to strong passenger traffic and initiatives undertaken as part of the airline’s transformation programme.

The carrier added: “There is no visibility on the timing or trajectory of the recovery at this point, however, as there are few signs of an abatement in the COVID-19 pandemic,”.

Additionally, the airline isn't certain when international traffic will recover as this depends on when borders open up again.

The airline, which is currently operating with a minimum schedule until at least the end of June, has set up an internal task force to make sure that it is “ready to ramp up services when air travel recovers”. Furthermore, it is exploring extra funding channels such as financing and sale and leaseback transactions.

At the moment, while the airline awaits for air travel demand to come back, it is taking advantage of the strong air cargo demand, which will “sustain cargo revenues for the near term” it says.

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