Singapore Airlines, the flag carrier of Singapore has planning to increase the number of flights to India, where the group is currently operating at approximately 75% of its pre-pandemic capacity.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group, which includes full-service carrier Singapore Airlines and low-cost carrier Scoot, presently serves as many as 13 destinations across India.
A senior Singapore Airlines executive stated on Monday that the airline intends to announce additional flights to India in the coming months.
Singapore Airlines Executive Vice President Commercial Lee Lik Hsin told reporters at Changi Airport;
“The India market is recovering very strongly as well. We are seeing good load factors… we will be able to hopefully announce increases in flights over the next two schedules… whether it is for the winter schedule starting from October or even for next year.”
- Singapore Airlines currently operates 73 weekly flights from eight Indian cities to Singapore: Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi, and Hyderabad.
- While Scoot has 38 flights per week from six cities: Amritsar, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Tiruchirappalli, Trivandrum, and Visakhapatnam.
According to a representative for SIA Group, the airline is now operating at approximately 75% of its pre-COVID capacity.
Scheduled commercial international passenger flights to and from India resumed on March 27 this year, after being suspended for just over two years.
There has been a tremendous demand for air travel since then.
According to a Singapore Airlines spokesperson, market input shows that current outbound traffic from India is predominantly pent-up leisure traffic, with corporate travel taking longer to recover to pre-pandemic levels.
Apart from resuming Airbus A380 flights from Mumbai and Delhi, the airline introduced its new Boeing 737-8 aircraft from Hyderabad, Kochi, and Kolkata in January. This includes seats in business class that recline into fully-flat beds.
In terms of general travel demand, Lee Lik Hsin stated that the country is in a “very speedy recovery phase right now.”
“We will put in a capacity of 61 per cent by the end of June, 67 per cent by the end of September… very very strong load factors for April,” he added. In April, SIA Group’s load factor rose 18 per cent.
In response to another question, Lee Lik Hsin stated that rising fuel costs are a worry for every airline;
“We try to exercise as much cost discipline as we can on other aspects in our control. Fuel is one aspect that we do not control. We are hedged for this current year at 40 per cent. We have some protection to that extent but the rest is (up to) market forces,” he added.
Regarding the possibility of a fare increase in light of increased jet fuel costs, he stated that fares are determined by demand and supply.