• Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 (2)

    Singapore Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    SQ/SIA

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub(s):
    Singapore Changi Airport

    Year Founded:
    1972

    Alliance:
    Star Alliance

    CEO:
    Goh Choon Phong

    Country:
    Singapore

After some busy and growing months, Singapore Airlines Group has reported no passenger growth in August, nor has it added any new destinations.

The Singapore Airlines Group, which includes Singapore Airlines and Scoot, carried 2.083 million passengers in August, almost exactly the same as in July. In August, Singapore Airlines carried 1.459 million and Scoot 624,000, while in July, the split was Singapore Airlines 1.470 million and Scoot 613,000. After recording an impressive 15% month-on-month gain in July, Scoot has added another 2% in August.

Is this a pause or something bigger?

At the group level, passenger capacity, measured in available seat kilometers, was 1.1% higher in August than in July and up by 110% compared to a year ago. During the month, the group capacity reached 68% of pre-Covid-19 levels, and with the increased capacity, the passenger load factor dropped by two percentage points to 85.4%. Twelve months ago, the group carried 155,400 passengers at a load factor of 17.5%, so it has come a long way, and one flat month needs to be viewed in that context.

Singapore Airlines Taking Off

Singapore Airlines stopped growing in August but is it just a hiccup or a sign of world issues impacting airlines? Photo: Getty Images

Singapore Airlines (SIA) had a slight capacity increase while passenger numbers and passenger kilometers fell, leading to a 2.5% drop in load factor, coming in at 85.2% for August. East Asia, which includes China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, is the region that’s holding SIA back, with a load factor of 70.6%, around 20% down on its overall result.

Another month has sailed by without tangible progress on border restrictions in China or Hong Kong, and until that changes, SIA will not get back to its 2019 levels. There has been some progress in Japan, although it’s likely to take a few months to show any significant gain in passenger numbers. The main regions of Europe, South West Pacific, and the Americas show minor changes but stay in the 86% to 92% load factor range. As a combined region, West Asia and Africa are consistently around 85%.

Hopefully Pokemon is adding smiles at Scoot

Scoot Pikachu jet

Hopefully, Japan will ease its border restrictions so more people get to fly on Scoot’s Pokemon airliner. Photo: Scoot 

Scoot’s metrics were unchanged month-on-month, although the differences to August 2021 are pretty staggering. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how badly airlines were faring a year ago, and it remains a surprise that more have not gone to the wall. Of course, in Scoot’s case, it enjoys the security and stability that flows from being part of the Singapore Airlines Group. Still, when an airline with 60 modern jetliners has just 22,100 passengers in a month, it must be desperate times for everyone. In August 2021, Scoot had a load factor of 7.5%, which means that for every 100 seats, around 92 were empty.

Fast forward to last month, and you would struggle to find an empty seat on a Scoot flight, although according to ch-aviation.com data is still has 17 aircraft sitting on the sidelines. Surprisingly, it operates 18 of its 20 Boeing B787s, which must be a good move as its overall load factor is 86.2%. On the narrowbody side, it has 13 out of 15 Airbus A320neo family aircraft active, so most of Scoot’s parked aircraft are 13 A320-200s, with 12 of the type in service. At the end of August, Scoot was flying to 47 destinations, while its big brother was looking after 73, both unchanged from July.

Do you think this is just a flat spot or a sign that world troubles and inflation are starting to bite?

Source: simpleflying.com

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