Singapore Airlines shares plunge after posting record loss

Planes from the Singapore Airlines at Changi Airport

Passenger traffic was reduced to nearly zero in the three months to June, SIA said, leading to the Asian carrier's biggest-ever quarterly net loss of Sg$1.12 billion ($816.58 million).

Revenue for the group plunged 79.3 per cent to $851 million year on year, while expenditure dropped 51.6 per cent to $1.89 billion, the company said in a regulatory filing. Its SilkAir unit ceased all operations temporarily except for flights to Chongqing, China, and has indefinitely suspended flights to the Thai resort island of Koh Samui. Low-priced unit Scoot operated a minimal network to cities such as Hong Kong and Perth, Australia.

Its shares closed down 1% at S$3.53 before the results announcement, having hit a low of S$3.52, their lowest since 1998.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group has sunk into a net loss of $1.12b in Q1 FY2021 from a net profit of $111m in Q1 FY2020, an announcement revealed.

The Group is comprised of the following three airlines: Singapore Airlines (SIA), low-priced carrier Scoot, and Silkair.

The number of passengers carried dropped 99.6% in the first quarter from a year earlier, with the airline filling just 10.2% of the seats on offer, though cargo held up better due to high freight demand.

She thus maintained a "cautious view on SIA's near-term operational outlook", noting that the airline group's capacity cuts, coupled with its oil hedge position, "could lead to meaningful losses near-term, particularly given the current low oil price environment". SIA also deployed passenger aircraft on cargo missions to boost cargo capacity. Some 119 aircraft are parked at Singapore Changi Airport and another 29 aircraft stored in Alice Springs in Australia.

Singapore Airlines said the "recovery trajectory in global air travel is slower than initially expected" as the worldwide Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a media call on Tuesday (28 July).

The company said for "planning purposes" it estimates that by the end of Fiscal Year 2020/2021, the group's passenger capacity may reach less than half of its pre-COVID-19 levels. The airline has reached an agreement with Airbus and is in negotiations with Boeing.

On the balance sheet front, SIA's debt-equity ratio has fallen from 1.27 times to 0.68 times, as cash and bank balances rose by S$6.9 billion to S$9.6 million, while total debt balances rose by a smaller amount of S$200 million to S$12 billion. "We will continue to optimise the usage of our freighters to capture demand opportunities and supplement our cargo capacity through the deployment of cargo-only passenger flights when justified", SIA said.

As such, SIA group projects that passenger capacity by the end of the next reporting quarter (Q2 FY2020/2021) will be approximately 7% of pre-pandemic numbers.

The integration of SilkAir into SIA also remains on track, as it transitions its SilkAir narrowbody operations to SIA, starting with the 737-800 aircraft in Q4 FY21.



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