Singapore Airlines tips stronger forward bookings

November 06, 2019
Photo: Singapore Airlines.

Singapore Airlines is expecting passenger bookings to be stronger in the coming months compared to the same time last year and says yields will be supported by premium cabin traffic.

However, it warns that headwinds persist in terms of intensifying competition in key operating markets and the uncertain global economic outlook.

The somewhat optimistic outlook comes as the Singapore Airlines Group (SIA) saw its first-half net profit increase by 5.1 percent to $S206 million ($US152m)  in the first half of the financial year.

Group revenue rose 5.3 percent to $8.32 billion while higher fuel costs pushed up expenditure by 5.8 percent to $S7.91 billion.

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An 8.2 percent rise in passenger flown revenue and 7.6 percent growth in traffic helped the overall result as well as an operating profit for the parent airline company — mainline Singapore Airlines — that rose 11.2 percent to $S465 million.

However, SilkAir continued to be adversely affected by the global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and recorded an operating loss of $S19m, up from $S3m in the first half 2018-19.

Low-cost offshoot Scoot saw an increase in revenue but its operating loss widened to $S77m from $S10m a year ago on lower yields, declining cargo revenue and other revenue falls.

It was a brighter story at SIA Engineering, which posted a 76 percent increase in operating profit to S37m.

SIA warned in its outllok that fuel prices were expected to remain volatile as a result of geopolitical and economic risks but said 75 percent of fuel requirements were hedged.

The airline is also entering the final lap of a three-year transformation program and said it ” remains committed to enhancing customer experience, improving operational efficiency and boosting revenue by strengthening digital capabilities”.

“The recent expansion of the KrisConnect program is one significant milestone,” it said.

“Utilising technology enablers such as NDC (New Distribution Capability), and APIs (Application Program Interface), KrisConnect facilitates integration and exchange of content between the Group and its partners, enabling customers to access personalized offerings across more distribution channels in addition to traditional owned channels.

“KrisShop, the airline’s flagship travel retailer, has been restructured to become a premium omnichannel e-commerce retailer.

“It will continue to expand its range of products and services through its themed concept stores and official brand stores on the new website.”