Coronavirus: Singapore Airlines cuts capacity by 96 percent

The move comes a day after Singapore closed its borders to all travellers.
The move comes a day after Singapore closed its borders to all travellers. Photo credit: Getty Images

Singapore Airlines has announced it will be cutting its global capacity by 96 percent and grounding almost all of its fleet in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which management describes as "the greatest challenge" the airline has ever faced.

The move comes a day after Singapore closed its borders to all travellers including transiting passengers in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

"This will result in the grounding of around 138 Singapore Airlines 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.

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 tro try and survive 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 making salary cuts for management staff.

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