Singapore Airlines will be cutting 96% of the capacity that had been originally scheduled through the end of April, as further tightening of border controls around the world take hold to stem the Covid-19 outbreak.
The latest move will result in the grounding of around 138 SIA and SilkAir aircraft, out of a total fleet of 147, amid the greatest challenge that the SIA Group has faced in its existence.
The Group’s low-cost unit Scoot will also suspend most of its network, resulting in the grounding of 47 of its fleet of 49 aircraft.
The SIA Group diversified its network and set up Scoot to spread its risks and cater to a wide range of passenger and market segments. However, without a domestic segment, the Group’s airlines become more vulnerable when international markets increasingly restrict the free movement of people or ban air travel altogether.
It is unclear when the SIA Group can begin to resume normal services, given the uncertainty as to when the stringent border controls will be lifted.
The resultant collapse in the demand for air travel has led to a significant decline in SIA’s passenger revenues.
“Even during this crisis, our customers and staff remain our top priority. We continue to focus on getting as many of our passengers as possible back home safely and protecting the jobs of our people,” said Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Airlines. “I would also like to apologize to our customers, and thank them for their patience and understanding, as we grapple with this unprecedented situation. We have more than doubled the handling capacity at our service centers and sales offices to help as many people as possible, as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir will operate a reduced schedule of services in April 2020. (All flights are subject to regulatory approvals).
SIA and SilkAir will continue to adjust our services in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Please note that all other flights that had been scheduled for April 2020 will be cancelled. For the flights that have been cancelled, the full value of the unused portion of the tickets will be retained and customers can rebook their travel by March 31, 2021.
Customers can submit their rebooking requests in the Covid-19 assistance request form when their new plans have been firmed and the airline’s customer service agents will contact them. Customers with tickets issued by travel agencies should contact their agents for assistance.