Singapore Airlines swings to fiscal 3Q net profit, first quarterly profit since Covid onset

A Singapore Airlines Scoot plane on the tarmac at Changi Airport in October 2018.A Singapore Airlines' Scoot plane at Changi Airport

Singapore Airlines reported Thursday its fiscal third quarter swung to a net profit of S$85 million, from a year-earlier net loss of S$142 million, marking its first quarterly profit since the pandemic’s onset. 

Total revenue for the quarter ended 31 December grew 117 percent on-year to S$2.32 billion, the Singapore flag carrier said in a filing to SGX. 

“This came amid a significant step-up in air travel to and through Singapore in the October-December 2021 period, as well as continued robust demand and strong yields in the cargo market,” Singapore Airlines, or SIA, said in the statement. 

Travel demand

“Singapore’s launch of Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) arrangements and its subsequent expansion, as well as the group’s nimble response that resulted in it being the first to open sales on almost all available routes, helped unlock pent-up demand during the year-end travel season,” SIA said.

In the quarter, SIA carried 1.1 million passengers, up by five times from the year-ago quarter and double the fiscal second quarter, the filing said.

Cargo flown revenue jumped 81.6 percent on-year to S$1.35 billion, a record. 

“Robust demand during the traditional cargo peak period was buoyed by retail inventory restocking and strong e-commerce traffic. Cargo yields rose significantly (+26.9 percent) amid an ongoing industry
capacity crunch,” SIA said. 

For the nine months ended 31 December, SIA reported a net loss of S$752 million, narrower than the S$3.61 billion net loss in the year-ago period. Revenue for the nine month period increased 90.4 percent on-year to S$5.14 billion, SIA said. 

Outlook

SIA said it expected to serve more than 70 percent of its total pre-Covid destinations by the end of the fiscal year. For the fiscal fourth quarter, SIA estimated its average capacity would be at 47 percent, compared with pre-Covid levels.

The carrier was tempered in its guidance for the fiscal fourth quarter. 

“While demand should continue to recover, especially on VTL services, passenger traffic is likely to moderate in the fourth quarter after the end of the year-end holiday season,” SIA said. 

“Following a record peak period in the third quarter of FY2021/22, overall air cargo demand is expected to ease in the fourth quarter. This is in line with seasonal fluctuations, and the traditional slowdown in exports during the Lunar New Year holiday period. Nonetheless, both air and sea freight capacities are expected to remain tight during the quarter, supporting loads and yields,” SIA said.

Read SIA’s filing for more details.