Singapore Airlines February passenger numbers surged 700 percent

Boarding a Scoot flightBoarding a Scoot flight. Photo taken pre-Covid.

Singapore Airlines reported Tuesday that passengers carried in February jumped 704 percent on-year to 544,600 as operations pick up from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Passenger capacity measured in available seat-kilometers was at 44 percent of pre-Covid levels in February, 2 percentage points below January, the carrier said in a filing to SGX. SIA defined pre-Covid as the month of January 2020. 

The decline in passenger capacity was attributable to February being a shorter month, SIA said.

Ticket sales for the Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) remained under a 50 percent reduction in arrival quotas for the first half of February, but on 16 February, Singapore removed the cap and progressively increased the VTL quota for daily arrivals to 15,000 by 4 March from 5,000 previously, SIA said. 

Cargo operations had a cargo load factor of 69 percent in February, down 25.6 percentage points on-year on seasonal fluctuations as the Lunar New Year holiday fell during the month, the filing said. 

Cargo loads, or freight tonne-kilometers, rose 9.8 percent in the month as overall air cargo demand eased during the Lunar New Year holiday period, SIA said. Read SIA’s update on the cargo business.

At end-February, SIA’s passenger network had 87 destinations, including Singapore, with the low-cost carrier Scoot adding a new destination, Miri, while service was resumed to Denpasar, Gold Coast and Hanoi, the filing said.

The VTL network will be expanding in the coming weeks to 66 cities in 27 countries, with new services added in Southeast Asia, India and Athens, SIA said. More non-VTL flights will also be converted to VTL flights for certain destinations, SIA said. 

“Based on our current published schedule, the group expects passenger capacity to reach around 57 percent of pre-Covid levels by April 2022,” the carrier said.

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