Singapore Airlines grounds most of fleet

Singapore Airlines grounds most of fleet

Agency News

Singapore Airlines will cut capacity by 96 percent and ground almost all of its fleet after the coronavirus prompted Singapore to close its borders.

The carrier says the pandemic is the "greatest challenge" it has ever faced. Singapore announced on Sunday it would close its borders to short-term visitors and transiting passengers, after reporting a number of imported cases. You can find out more on the latest situation in Singapore in this report from Tom Benner.

“This will result in the grounding of around 138 SIA and SilkAir aircraft, out of a total fleet of 147, amid the greatest challenge that the SIA Group has faced in its existence,” Singapore Airlines said in a statement announcing the cut in planned capacity scheduled up to end April.

The airline said its low-cost carrier Scoot will also suspend most of its network, resulting in the grounding of 47 of its fleet of 49 aircraft. “It is unclear when the SIA Group can begin to resume normal services, given the uncertainty as to when the stringent border controls will be lifted,” the airline said.

Singapore Airlines said it was looking to shore up its liquidity and reduce capital expenditure and operating costs while also asking aircraft manufacturers to defer upcoming deliveries and salary cuts for management.