world of aviation logo

Singapore Airlines posts mixed results before bubble opening

written by Adam Thorn | May 19, 2021

An ex-SilkAir Boeing 737, repainted to don Singapore Airlines’ iconic livery (Singapore Airlines)

Singapore Airlines carried 95,000 passengers in April – a figure 10 times higher than the same month last year but still far short of its pre-COVID total of 1.8 million

The airline said there was “growing optimism” due to the increased pace of vaccines being rolled out but warned border restrictions caused by new waves of the virus are still having an effect.

The mixed news came shortly after Singapore and Hong Kong agreed to start a modest travel bubble from 26 May, which has the potential to increase activity.

The larger SIA Group, which also includes low-cost subsidiary Scoot, saw capacity increase to 24 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

“As at the end of April 2021, Singapore Airlines’ network covered 49 destinations,” said the business in a statement. “This followed the re-introduction of Taipei services, as well as the transfer of Medan from SilkAir as part of the ongoing integration of narrow-body operations with the Parent Airline.

“SilkAir’s network reduced to only three destinations (Cebu, Kathmandu and Singapore). Including Singapore, the combined network for full-service carriers grew from 50 destinations in March to 51 destinations at the end of April.

“Scoot served 19 destinations as at the end of April with the re-instatement of flights to Macau. Operations to south Asia and Europe remained suspended.”


In April, Singapore and Hong Kong agreed to start a travel bubble, but it will begin with just one flight per day.

The agreement, which allows passengers to forego quarantine, was due to launch in November but was delayed after a spike of cases in Hong Kong.

Its launch will mark the second major travel corridor to open between countries operating a hotel isolation program, after Australia and New Zealand restarted travel earlier this month.

Ong Ye Kung, Singapore’s Minister for Transport, said, “I am happy that Hong Kong got the COVID-19 situation under control. It has been a long few months, but the conditions are now ripe again to re-launch the Air Travel Bubble.”

The deal will initially include just one flight carrying a maximum of 200 passengers for the first fortnight, before expanding.

All passengers departing from Hong Kong must be vaccinated, while customers from both cities are expected to take a test within three days of departure and then again on arrival.

The arrangement will be suspended if the seven-day average of unlinked community cases in either city increases to more than five.

Singapore Airlines lost US$1.66 billion in the nine months before December, while Cathay reported an annual loss of US$2.8 billion.


Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year