SIA Cargo weathers the storm

Like all other carriers, SIA Cargo is also being impacted by the recession, but the airline is remaining nimble, disciplined in resources deployment and is continuing to be vigilant on cost management.

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Hit by the global recession and the drastic drop in transport demand, Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA) had earlier in the year decommissioned 17 aircraft in the financial year starting in April, as the carrier prepared to face a “very difficult” 2009. The airline also slashed routes, merged flights, cut fuel surcharges three times since September and reorganised its network in a bid to balance supply and demand requirements.

According to a SIA Cargo spokesperson, the airline’s latest operating statistics for June show that overall cargo traffic (measured in freight tonne kilometres) fell by 20.8 per cent, as system- wide cargo traffic has been severely impacted by the economic downturn.

“However, the drop in LTK was less than the reduction in system-wide cargo capacity of 22.3 per cent. As a result, cargo load factor (CLF) registered an improvement of 1.3 percentage points,” she said, adding that the modest rise in overall CLF is mainly attributable to better capacity management.

“CLF for East Asia declined slightly by 0.5 percentage points in June (yearon- year), as the market is still weak due to the ongoing economic downturn,” she added.

Based on data released by SIA Cargo on its website, the airline’s cargo load by route in the region was down 0.5 percentage point in East Asia and also down 1.5 percentage points in West Asia and Africa. Other regions like Americas were up 1.6 points, Europe up 3.6 points and Southwest Africa up by 2.4 points. The airline’s overall load factor was down 0.9 percentage points in June.