Singapore Airlines Ltd is reportedly cutting 96 per cent of its capacity until the end of April, among many air-carriers around the globe that slashed flights owing to the dip in travel demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the airline’s official statement, the company and its two subsidiaries will ground over 185 aircraft out of a total 196, including the Airbus SE A380s and Boeing Co. 787s. Singapore Airlines would also hold meetings to defer deliveries of aircraft. The management is planning to reduce salaries to cover the losses incurred. It said that the carrier is taking the actions amid the greatest challenge that the SIA Group has faced in its existence. It is, however, still unclear when the SIA Group would be able to resume services, given the uncertainty when the travel can resume and border restrictions might be lifted.
Airlines worldwide have cut capacity topping 90 per cent as the COVID-19 infection cases soar past 300,000 and countries put million under lockdown in containment effort, halting most of the global transport, as per the reports. The air travel industry demands bailout measures for over $200 billion and government aid to survive the crisis, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Singapore Airlines further said in the statement that it was holding talks with the financial institutions on the funding needs and has drawn on credit lines to meet immediate cash flow requirements. It will continue to explore measures to shore up its liquidity, it added saying. Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong reduced 15 per cent of his salary this month, as per the reports. Other prominent senior management and board members have also cut their pay. The company is offering unpaid leave to the staff.
Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. Cut 96 per cent of its services for April and May last week, confirmed reports. Qantas Airways Ltd. dismissed the 30,000 workforces and grounded all international flights, while also reducing 60 per cent domestic operations.