Coronavirus effect on airlines: ‘Greatest existential challenge ever’: Virus forces Singapore Airlines to cut operations drastically

Amid rapid tightening of border control measures around the world in the wake of the widening novel coronavirus contagion, the Singapore Airlines (SIA) today announced that it would be cutting 96% of the capacity that had been originally scheduled up to April-end of 2020.

As per info from its official website, Singapore Airlines & SilkAir has operations to and from 11 locations in India: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram and Vishakhapatnam.

In what the airline termed “the greatest challenge it has faced in its existence”, it will ground around 138 SIA and SilkAir aircraft, out of a total fleet of 147, a press release said.

Scoot, SIA’s low-cost arm, will also ground 47 of its 49 planes, it added.

The airline also revealed that discussions are on with aircraft manufacturers to defer deliveries in view of the uncertain business situation.

The group said it had no idea when normal services would resume because there is no telling when border controls would be lifted.

According to the media release, the group has already approached the unions for a host of required cost-cutting measures. The statement also outlined a new voluntary unpaid leave scheme and pay cut for various job levels.

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