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Singapore Airlines slashes 96% of capacity as coronavirus curbs travel demand

Press Trust of India  |  Singapore 

The Singapore Airlines on Monday said it will cut 96 per cent of its capacity that had been scheduled up to the end of April due to the tightening of border controls around the world to stem the coronavirus outbreak.

The company along with its two subsidiaries -- SilkAir and Scoot -- will ground 185 aircraft out of a total 196, which includes Airbus SE A380s and Boeing Co 787s, the Singapore Airlines (SIA) said in a statement.

The move comes "amid the greatest challenge that the SIA Group has faced in its existence", it said.

The company said it is unclear when it can begin to resume normal services, given the uncertainty as to when the stringent border controls will be lifted.

"The resultant collapse in the demand for air travel has led to a significant decline in SIA's passenger revenues," the statement said

The SIA said it is actively taking steps to build up its liquidity, and to reduce capital expenditure and operating costs, which include salary cut of board directors and implementation of a voluntary no-pay leave scheme for staff up to certain management positions.

The company is also in talks with aircraft manufacturers to defer upcoming deliveries, in the hopes of delaying payment for those consignments.

The airlines has drawn on its lines of credits to meet its immediate cash flow requirements. It is also in discussions with several financial institutions on its future funding requirements.

The company said it continues to explore measures to shore up its liquidity during this unprecedented disruption to global air travel.

Many airlines across the globe have resorted to capacity cuts by over 90 per cent as COVID-19 infections cross 300,000 and death toll nears 15,000. Some countries and cities are under lockdown as part of measures to contain the viral outbreak, halting much of global transport.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 10:52 IST