Singapore Airlines to re-integrate SIA Cargo division



SIA was among many carriers to face penalties by the European Commission, which said the companies ran a global scheme affecting cargo services in the continent by coordinating their actions on surcharges for fuel and security without discounts over six years.

Looking forward, the carrier says it is braced for intense competition arising from excess capacity in major markets, alongside geopolitical and economic uncertainty, which continue to exert pressure on yields.

The mainline airline will remove two A330-300s, four A380s and three Boeing 777s to bring its fleet to 109 aircraft by the end of the financial year. Singapore Airlines will pay a final dividend of SGD11 cents a share.

The move comes after SIA on Thursday reported a net loss of S$138 million for its fourth quarter, with earnings dragged down by a S$132 million provision for SIA Cargo over a competition law case in Europe.

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SilkAir, now operating 30 Airbus and Boeing single-aisle aircraft, will get its first four 737 MAX 8 aircraft in 2017-18, while Budget Aviation Holdings will add four 787s.

There was an operating profit of S$623 million in the 2016-17 financial year. It also expected its decision to operate Scoot and Tiger under the Scoot brand to deliver advantages.

But he added: "While management has set in place several initiatives that have yielded positive results, as evident by the group's improving passenger load factor, we remain cautious over the industry overcapacity situation, that will likely continue to have a negative impact on the group's yield and profitability".

With profits slipping in the last few years because of intense competition from other long-haul premium carriers such as Emirates and Qatar Airways, as well as high fuel costs, SIA has taken steps to broaden its portfolio.

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To that end, SIA said it had established a wide-ranging review of the airline group's network, fleet, product and service, as well as organisational structure and processes as part of efforts to build on the strategic initiatives now being implemented and achieve long-term sustainable growth.

"It would be interesting to see how Singapore Air Group's transformation plans compare with Cathay's", said Ms Corrine Png, chief executive officer at Crucial Perspective Pte in Singapore.

In its statement, the group says it believes the reintegration will provide new opportunities for staff development within the larger SIA organisation.

Group revenue fell 2.4% year-over-year (YOY) to S$14.9 billion for the financial year.

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SIA Cargo now has seven aircraft in its freighter fleet, while the proportion of revenue from passenger aircraft bellyhold capacity has increased significantly, SIA said.

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