Wide-ranging flight cancellations have been extended for another month by Singapore Airlines (SIA), following its announcement of a one-month extension just four days prior.
Amid a drastic drop in demand for air travel and travel restrictions worldwide, this means that 96 per cent of its scheduled flights until the end of June will be cancelled.
At the end of March, the first round of cuts was announced, and it was originally for flights which had been scheduled for the end of April.
SIA stated in a notice on its website that it would adjust its services in accordance with the developments of the COVID-19 situation.
For flights that were cancelled by SIA or SilkAir, affected customers will keep the full value of the unused portion of their tickets as flight credits. When they rebook their flights, they will also obtain bonus flight credits.
More information can be found on SIA’s website regarding its cancellation policy.
During the extended-cuts, the flight destinations of SIA will be restricted to only 15 cities until the end of June.
Prior to the crisis, SIA served about 140 destinations in more than 35 territories and countries, and it was the 15th biggest airline group in the world.
With assistance from Temasek, SIA is looking to raise up to S$15 billion by issuing mandatory convertible bonds to raise S$9.7 billion, as well as issuing new shares to current shareholders to raise around $S5.3 billion.
Airlines all over the world have also been struggling to endure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the International Air Transport Association (Iata) on 14 April, this year’s global airline passenger revenues could drop by US$314 billion (S$447 billion), which is 55 per cent lower compared to last year.
The biggest revenue decline at US$113 billion (S$160.69 billion) will be experienced by airlines in the Asia Pacific this year compared to 2019. Passenger demand will also decline by 50 per cent this year compared to the previous year.
“The situation is deteriorating,” remarked Conrad Clifford, Iata’s Regional Vice-President for the Asia-Pacific region.
“We have seen the first airline casualty (Virgin Australia) in the region. There will be more casualties if governments do not step in urgently to ensure airlines have sufficient cash flow to tide them over this period,” he added.
On 21 April, SIA handed control of Virgin Australia, which it owned by 20 per cent, to administrators.