SINGAPORE: SIA parks one freighter and 17 pax planes

Singapore Airlines, the world’s most profitable carrier, has said it will slash passenger capacity by 11 per cent as the global recession continues to drag downair passenger and cargo demand. The airline will take 17 passenger planes out of its fleet in the fiscal year beginning April until March 2010, it said in a statement […]


Singapore Airlines, the world’s most profitable carrier, has said it will slash passenger capacity by 11 per cent as the global recession continues to drag downair passenger and cargo demand.

The airline will take 17 passenger planes out of its fleet in the fiscal year beginning April until March 2010, it said in a statement this week. The carrier had earlier planned to remove four planes from its fleet of 102 aircraft before the recession deepened – one for conversion to a freighter, and three to be returned to lessors at completion of lease contracts, SIA said in a statement.

The announcement comes only days after the carrier confirmed its cargo unit, Singapore Airlines Cargo, grounded one aircraft – a B747-400 freighter – parking it in the California desert as a result of the plummeting airfreight market. This leaves SIA Cargo with a fleet of 12 B747- 400 freighters still flying.

“The drop in air transportation has been sharp and swift,” said Singapore Airlines CEO, Chew Choon Seng. “Given the falls of over 20 per cent that we have seen recently in air cargo shipments, and the tradition of demand for air travel following closely behind trends on the cargo side of the business, we have to face the reality that 2009 is going to be a very difficult year.