Singapore Airlines reports fiscal 2H net loss narrowed sharply

A Singapore Airlines aircraft in flight. Photo by Justin Lim, published on Unsplash in December 2017A Singapore Airlines aircraft in flight. Photo by Justin Lim, published on Unsplash in December 2017

Singapore Airlines reported Wednesday its fiscal second half net loss narrowed sharply as air travel demand was bolstered by border re-openings in nearly all key markets and the expansion of vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs).

For the fiscal second half, SIA reported a net loss of S$125.2 million, compared with a net loss of S$803.7 million in the year-ago period, and a net loss of S$837 million in the fiscal first half.

Revenue for the six months ended 31 March more than doubled to S$4.79 billion, up from S$2.18 billion in the year-ago period, the Singapore flag carrier said in a filing to SGX.

“Singapore’s launch and subsequent expansion of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme was the game changer for the group. It facilitated quarantine-free mass travel for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and significantly boosted the demand for flights to and through Singapore,” SIA said in the statement.

“By deploying capacity and increasing services in an agile manner, SIA and Scoot were among the first to launch flights for all VTL points. This allowed the carriers to capture the pent-up demand for air travel as it returned,” the carrier said.

Passenger traffic in the fiscal second half grew 257 percent on-year, outpacing a 46.2 percent expansion in capacity, SIA said.

Expenses also rose, with the fiscal second half net fuel costs at S$1.38 billion, compared with S$810 million in the fiscal first half, SIA said.

For the full fiscal year, SIA reported its net loss narrowed to S$962 million, from S$4.27 billion in the previous year, as full year revenue doubled to S$7.62 million from S$3.82 million in the previous year.

SIA carried 3.9 million passengers in the fiscal year, up six-fold on-year, the filing said.

Outlook

SIA said that based on current published schedules, it expects passenger capacity to reach 61 percent of pre-Covid levels for the first quarter of the current fiscal year, and reach around 67 percent of pre-Covid levels by the second quarter. More than 70 percent of pre-Covid destinations are expected to be served by the end of the fiscal second quarter, SIA said.

“Forward sales, when measured as a percentage of the total number of seats available, in the next three months up to August 2022 are approaching pre-Covid-19 levels,” the carrier said.

SIA said inflationary pressures were a concern, particularly for fuel prices, with spot prices up more than 50 percent from the previous fiscal year’s average US$90.31 a barrel to nearly US$150 a barrel in early May.

SIA is not proposing a final dividend to conserve cash after the significant losses.