Singapore Airlines Passenger Demand Dried Up In May

Credit: Singapore Airlines

SINGAPORE—As the COVID-19 lockdown and border closures dragged into their second full month in Singapore, flag-carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) group saw May passenger volume plunge 99.7% year-on-year (YOY).  

Only 9,600 passengers, or an average of 320 passengers daily, were carried across its network of 17 destinations. The group carried 10,800 passengers in April. 

Passenger demand in revenue passenger-kilometers (RPK) and capacity in available seat-kilometers (ASK) for parent airline SIA, nosedived 99.5% and 95.6% YOY, respectively. Only flying to 14 key cities, average load factors were 9.2%. 

Flying to only Chongqing in China once a week, passenger figures were almost non-existent at 400, a 99.9% YOY decline. However, load factors were in double digits at 31.7%. 

LCC Scoot operated to Perth, Australia, and Hong Kong, posting a 97.5% decline in ASKs. RPKs plunged 99.9% YOY, with only 600 passengers transported.

Cargo remains the growth segment for SIA. Due to the massive grounding of aircraft and network cuts, capacity in available freight-ton-kilometers and demand in revenue freight-ton-kilometers still fell 61.9% and 52.8% YOY, respectively. However, load factors were up by 14.4 points and positive growth was shown across all regions, especially in East Asia and West Asia/Africa. Load factors improved by 24.7 and 19.9 points, respectively. West Asia/Africa saw cargo load factors reach 90.2%, mainly due to the suspension of passenger service. 

Numbers for June are expected to improve as SIA has added 12 destinations. Regulators also approved passengers to transit via Changi Airport. 

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.