Based on the internal memo which Reuters got access to, Singapore Airlines has slashed almost 10 per cent of its flight capacity, has deferred spending as well as frozen recruitment ground positions in the wake of lower aviation demand caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The memo, which was given to staff, reported that not less than 3,000 flights from February to end of May have temporarily been suspended. This makes up of 9.9 per cent of the airline’s scheduled capacity.
Goh Choon Phong, the CEO of Singapore Airlines stated in the memo “We will continue to be nimble and flexible in adjusting our capacity to match the changing demand patterns in the market…We have also proactively reached out to our suppliers and partners to discuss additional mitigating measures during this difficult time.”
The Covid-19 virus, which originated from Mainland China at the end of 2019, can be transmitted between individuals, and has now taken the lives of 2,500 people and infected over 80,000 people, most of which are cases in Mainland China.
Governments have imposed restrictions of movements in order to contain the spread of Covid-19 and travel demand has also taken a toll, leading to thousands of flights being cancelled.
Earlier in February, Singapore Airlines announced that it was going to ratchet down its flight capacity across its global network for three months beginning from May. The affected destinations include Tokyo, Frankfurt, Sydney, Jakarta, Seoul, London, Paris, Los Angeles and Mumbai.
As to what percentage of capacity would be reduced, the carrier did not offer details at the time.
On Tuesday (25 Feb), staff members received a memo from the CEO, as reported by Singapore Airlines without disclosing the details of the content.
The carrier stressed that would take extra measures if required as it keeps a close monitoring of the situation, but it would not resort to any actions that would harm the long-term competitiveness of the airline.
Hong-Kong based airline, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd has also slashed 40 per cent of its capacity across its network to accommodate the lack of aviation demand at the moment due to the outbreak, and the carrier told its workers to take three weeks of unpaid leave.