Singapore Airlines posts $1 billion loss following 99.5 percent drop in passenger numbers

Singapore Airlines passenger numbers fall by 99.4 percent
Singapore Airlines passenger numbers fall by 99.4 percent Photo credit: Getty.

SIA Group, the parent company of Singapore Airlines, has posted a loss of NZ$1 billion for the first quarter of 2020 following a drop of 99.5 percent in passenger traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SIA Group is made up of legacy airline Singapore Airlines, Silk Air - which services South East Asia - and Scoot, the company's low cost, long-haul carrier.

The beginning of the first 2020 financial quarter was also the beginning of the most disruptive period in the history of aviation.

COVID-19 saw passenger loads drop to almost zero as borders closed and travel restrictions were put in place around the world.

Dramatic Clouds above and below on Sunset
Photo credit: Newshub.

Empty vessels:

  • Singapore Airlines passenger numbers fell by 99.4 percent
  • SilkAir's passenger numbers were 99.8 percent lower than 2019 figures 
  • Scoot had the worst period, reporting it carried 0.01 percent of the number of passengers it serviced in the same period last year

The numbers resulted in a 99.5 percent decline for the SIA Group as a whole.

With no passengers, the airline has almost no income. Revenue declined by 79.3 percent to NZ$929 million for the quarter.

Strong demand for urgent movements of personal protective equipment, pharmaceuticals and fresh foods saw a significant increase in cargo revenue, which somewhat softened the blow to the bottom line.

SIA Group forecasts passenger numbers by the end of the second financial quarter to be approximately 7 percent compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. 

Out of the 220 aircraft operated by the SIA Group, only a handful are in operation. 


  • 32 aircraft are deployed on passenger services. 
  • 7 freighters are operational
  • 33 passenger aircraft are operating cargo-only services
  • 119 aircraft are parked at Singapore Changi Airport and 29 are stored in Alice Springs

SIA Group has begun a series of changes and reviews including merging Singapore Airlines with SilkAir, and assessing the commercial viability of the Airbus A380.