Singapore Airlines prepares for additional quarterly loss due to coronavirus impact

Bangkok Post has reported Singapore Airlines is preparing for another quarterly loss after the coronavirus left it flying a fraction of its usual number of passengers, the company said.

The airline warned this month that it expects a material operating loss in its fiscal first quarter. It already suffered a record net loss of SGD 732 million in the three months through March, when it was hit by fuel-hedging losses as well as a collapse in demand triggered by the outbreak. That left the carrier with its first annual loss in its 48-year history.

The net loss could widen to SGD 1.2 billion for the quarter through June and revenue may slump 87% because of a 96% drop in capacity, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts.

Fuel-hedging losses will again take a toll, and this time there are also SGD 124 million in liquidation costs for NokScoot Airlines. Singapore Airlines owned a 49% stake in the low-cost Thai carrier that collapsed in June.

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to torment the global aviation industry, which is forecast to take at least another three years to recover from the plunge in traffic caused by tight border controls and a reluctance to travel.

Singapore Airlines is in a particularly tight spot as it is dependent on international flights. The carrier and its SilkAir and Scoot units flew 17,700 passengers in June, compared with 3.2 million a year earlier.

The airline, which has raised about SGD 11 billion through loans and a rights issue in June, said passenger traffic could take two to four years to recover.

Singapore Airlines´ shares slipped 0.3% to close at SDG 3.61. They´ve slumped 43% this year, among the worst performers on a Bloomberg gauge of carriers in the Asia Pacific region.