SIA volumes fall amid global economic uncertainty

Following a disappointing performance in June, Singapore Airlines (SIA) saw its freight traffic decline during the first quarter of its 2019/20 financial year against a backdrop of weakening global demand.

Cargo and mail carried during April–June amounted to 307,700 tonnes, down 3.3% on the same period of 2018. Traffic as measured in freight tonne-km (FTKs) was down 4.4% year on year to 1,645.4mn.

Capacity rose very slightly, up 0.1% to 2,805.1mn available tonne-km. The resultant load factor declined by 2.7 percentage points over the same quarter of last year, to 58.7%.

The yield dipped by 4.2% year-on-year, and cargo flown revenue declined by 8.4%.

SIA commented: “Air freight demand has softened amid ongoing trade disputes and uncertain global economic conditions.”

Looking ahead: “SIA’s cargo operations will continue to pursue charter opportunities and deploy capacity to match demand,” it added.

The carrier’s freighter network covers 19 cities, including Singapore.

Overall, the Singapore Airlines Group (which includes Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot and SIA Engineering) saw its total revenue for April-June rise by 6.7% year on year, to S$4.1bn (USD3bn). The group’s operating profit stood at S$200mn (USD145.3mn), 3.6% higher than the same period last year.

Net profit, however, dropped substantially, falling 20.7% to S$111mn (USD80.7mn) across the group. This was “largely attributable to a higher share of losses from associated companies”, as well as a rise in net finance charges – including additional financing for fleet renewal and growth.

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