Singapore Airlines Group reported a net profit of SGD 85 million (USD 62.8 million) for the third quarter ended December 31, marking the company’s first profit since the COVID pandemic began. The airline credits its success to increased cargo revenues and passenger numbers as a result of Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme.
Singapore Airlines Group (SIA) has reported its first profit since December 2019, thanks to increased passenger traffic and a record quarter for cargo operations. The airline earned SGD 85 million (USD 62.8 million) in net profit on total revenues of SGD 2.32 billion (USD 1.71 billion), up from SGD 1.07 billion (USD 791 million) the year before.
Singapore Airlines Group said, “The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group posted a quarterly profit for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, recording a third-quarter net profit of USD 85 million. 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.”
Operating profit increased to SGD 76 million (USD 56 million), a significant improvement from the same quarter last year’s operating losses of SGD 331 million (USD 245 million).
Despite a much-improved quarterly performance, net losses for the first nine months reached SGD 752 million (USD 556 million). This is nevertheless a significant improvement over the previous year’s net losses of SGD 2.85 billion (USD 2.11 billion).
The loosening of travel restrictions in Singapore with the implementation of the VTL programme was particularly significant. SIA served about 1.1 million passengers, more than five times the number a year ago and more than doubling Q2 2021. Singapore Airlines handled 966,000 passengers, while Scoot, the airline’s budget affiliate, handled the rest.
During the quarter, the strong demand for VTL services enabled the reactivation of A380 operations to London and Sydney. SIA took delivery of one Airbus A350 and four Boeing 737-8 aircraft, while Scoot took delivery of two A321neo aircraft.
These aircraft will progressively join the operating fleet starting from January 2022. As of 31 December 2021, SIA’s operating fleet comprised 121 passenger aircraft and seven freighters while Scoot had 50 passenger aircraft in its operating fleet.
SIA’s cargo operations raked in record revenues for the quarter, in addition to an increase in passenger numbers. For the first time, the airline’s cargo revenues surpassed SGD 1 billion, growing by 81% from SGD 744 million (USD 550 million) to SGD 1.35 billion (USD 999 million).
By the end of the quarter, Group passenger capacity reached 45% of pre-Covid-19 levels. The Group expects to serve over 70% of its total pre-Covid destinations by the end of its financial year which concludes on March 31, 2022.