The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group has made a profit for the first time in two years since the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is as a result of the pandemic border control measures being eased and the start of the Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) system in Singapore.
SIA Group reported that the airline carried 1.1 million passengers during the quarter and that its passenger capacity grew by 183.8%. By the end of the quarter, their passenger capacity reached 45% of their pre-Covid-19 levels. SIA Group revealed that for the three months ending in December 2021, they made an operating profit of $76 million compared to a $331 million loss from the year before. A total increase of $407 million from the year prior. For the first nine months of 2021, the SIA Group also recorded an operating cash surplus of $322 million.
The Vaccinated Travel Lanes is a newly introduced system in Singapore that allows quarantine-free travel if you are fully vaccinated, I.e., received the full regimen of WHO EUL vaccines or are under 12 years old and unvaccinated but accompanied by a fully vaccinated traveller.
SIA Group stated in their report:
Singapore’s VTL arrangements have been a game changer for the SIA Group, facilitating quarantine-free mass travel for the first time since the pandemic began. While demand should continue to recover, especially on VTL services, passenger traffic is likely to moderate in the fourth quarter after the end of the year-end holiday season.
From Friday 25th February, they also expanded their VTL network to include; Cairns, Darwin, Dubai, Hong Kong, Manila, New York (Newark), and Phuket. They also have plans to increase the current flights operating to and from VTL countries, they stated:
SIA will also step up frequencies for flights between Singapore and several existing VTL destinations including Bandar Seri Begawan, Colombo, Male, and Phnom Penh. Scoot will progressively include Chiang Mai, Cebu, Clark, Davao, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Krabi, London (Gatwick), and Phuket to its VTL network, and will also increase its frequency for services between Singapore and Phuket. With these new additions, the SIA Group will operate VTL services from 49 cities in 25 countries to Singapore.
The SIA Group also upgraded its fleet due to the increased demand since the operation of the VTL system. It stated in the same report that:
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.
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