Singapore Airlines cuts 96pc of capacity over coronavirus outbreak

- A Monitor Desk Report 26 Mar, 2020 | 1224 Views|-+
Dhaka: Singapore Airlines Group on March 23 announced to cut 96 per cent of its global capacity originally scheduled through the end of April and ground most of its fleet as further tightening of border controls around the world to contain the coronavirus outbreak bring commercial air travel to a near standstill.

The move will see 138 Singapore Airlines and SilkAir aircraft grounded out of a total fleet of 147, while 47 of 49 aircraft sit idle at low-fare subsidiary Scoot.

SIA Group said in a statement that it had diversified its network and established Scoot to spread its risks and cater to a wide range of passenger and market segments.

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, the statement added.

Measures to build liquidity and reduce spending and operating costs at SIA include ongoing discussions with aircraft manufacturers to defer upcoming aircraft deliveries.

Other moves have involved executive salary cuts and voluntary unpaid leave for certain management positions, while SIA remains engaged with unions on more cost-cutting measures, steps toward which the company said it would take “imminently.”

While SIA Group has drawn on its lines of credit to meet its immediate cash-flow needs, it remains in talks with several financial institutions for future funding requirements.

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