SIA, SilkAir cut flight capacity by 7.1% from February to May as coronavirus infection spreads

Air travel has been hard hit across the world as Covid-19 nears its second month after it began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year.
Air travel has been hard hit across the world as Covid-19 nears its second month after it began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - National carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) and its regional arm SilkAir announced additional cuts to their flights between February and May on Monday night (Feb 24), following their decision last Tuesday to cancel more than 700 flights due to weak demand amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Taken together, the cancellations will cut the scheduled capacity of the two airlines by 7.1 per cent from February to May, SIA said in a Facebook post.

Air travel has been hard hit across the world as the disease, officially called Covid-19, nears its second month after it began in Wuhan, China, in December last year.

There are now more than 79,000 confirmed cases of infection worldwide, with Iran, Italy, South Korea and others countries fighting to contain the spread.

SIA Group, which apart from SIA also includes subsidiaries SilkAir and Scoot, said it will be "nimble and flexible" in its adjustments to match changing demand patterns, and will notify and re-accommodate affected customers onto other flights.

It added that those who booked their tickets through a travel agency should contact the agent for assistance, while those who booked directly with SIA can contact the airline's reservations team on 6223-8888.

Travellers can check the full list of affected flights.

Aviation analysts The Straits Times spoke to said similar moves should be expected of other airlines, given a global reduction in travel as companies stop sending their employees for business trips and conferences.

They have also said that the bulk of the cuts would be in May, which is already an off-peak travel season with low demand.