SINGAPORE - More than 1.45 million passengers flew on Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Scoot planes last month - a 62.7 per cent increase from March, and more than 10 times the number of passengers the two airlines carried over the same period last year.
This comeson the back of a major easing of border restrictions in Singapore and elsewhere around the world, which also led to passenger volumes at Changi Airport doubling and reaching close to 40 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels as at end-April.
Releasing its latest operating results on Tuesday (May 17),SIA Group, which operates the national carrier SIA and budget carrier Scoot, said demand for air travel increased significantly after Singapore reopened its borders fully to travellers vaccinated against Covid-19 on April 1, and removed requirements for pre-departure testing on April 26.
Many key markets also relaxed their border measures further, SIA Group said, which led to the company posting its highest passenger load factor since the Covid-19 pandemic started more than two years ago.
In April, 72.7 per cent of the available seating capacity on both SIA and Scoot flights were filled up, an 18.2 percentage point increase from the previous month and a 59 percentage point increase year-on-year.
The passenger load factor improved across all route regions for both airlines, SIA Group added. The group's passenger capacity last month was also up by six percentage points, reaching 57 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels, the firm said.
Last month, SIA resumed operations to Davao and Cebu in the Philippines, while Scoot resumed services to Hat Yai in Thailand and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.
As at end-April, SIA Group's passenger network covered 95 destinations, including Singapore, with SIA serving 71 destinations and Scoot serving 45.
The resumption of passenger flights also led to a 35.1 per cent increase in cargo capacity for SIA last month, but pandemic controls in China affected demand and more belly hold space was allocated to carry passenger baggage, causing cargo loads to dip by 2.1 per cent compared with March, SIA Group said.
SIA's cargo load factor for the month of April was at 66.7 pe...