PHOTO: Singapore Airlines.

MIAMI – Singapore Airlines (SQ) will reduce 96% of its scheduled capacity for April, grounding 138 SIA and SilkAir aircraft due to the latest worldwide travel controls.

The measure not only affects the operations of the SQ’s total fleet of 147 airplanes but also subsidiary airlines of the SIA Group, owner of the carrier. As a result, Scoot (TR) will suspend the majority of its scheduled network, grounding 47 aircraft of its 49-total fleet.

“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 SQ CEO, Mr. Goh Choon Phong.

Risk management

The SIA Group said in a statement that it diversified its network, prepared TR to spread its risks, and provided services to a wide range of passenger and market segments. The company has already reduced its lines of credits to meet its immediate cash flow requirements.

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”.

As the statement does not establish when the services will be resumed, the drop in passenger demand due to the travel restrictions has meant a significant decline in SQ’s passenger revenues.

Picture from Singapore Airlines.

Due to the gravity of the situation, the company is trying to restore its liquidity reducing capital expenditure and operating costs while taking other measures related to staff and providers.

SQ announces salary and fees cuts for its Directors and a voluntary no-pay leave scheme up to management positions. Unions got engaged to additional cost-cutting measures if they are needed.

Regarding external financial operations, the company is having ongoing discussions with aircraft manufacturers to delay upcoming aircraft deliveries and with financial institutions for its future funding requirements.

While the group staff is committed and making sacrifices during this “extremely challenging time,” according to Choon Phong, the airline stated that it will continue taking measures to improve its liquidity during this crisis.

“I would also like to apologize to our customers, and thank them for their patience and understanding, as we grapple with this unprecedented situation,” added Choon Phong.

By now, SQ does not mention if the package of actions will affect the future addition of Brussels to its route network in October 2020.