Weak demand sees subdued March cargo activity at Singapore Airlines

A shipment of Covid-19 vaccines arrives at Changi, courtesy of Singapore Airlines Cargo (image: Ministry of Communications and Information)

Cargo continued to suffer in March as demand for air passenger travel improved across all routes, according to Singapore Airlines.

The group, which includes lowcost subsidiary Scoot, issued a March operating results update this week.

Group passenger capacity was 10.9% higher compared to February 2023, and reached 79% of pre-Covid-19 levels during the month.

SIA and Scoot carried a combined 2.7 million passengers in the month (+14.1% month-on-month, and three times the number of passengers carried in March 2022).

Group passenger load factor was 89.0% (+2.4 percentage points month-on-month, +34.5 percentage points year-on-year). Scoot’s PLF of 92.8% was the highest in its history.

However, key cargo figures remained down on 2022 with the amount of cargo carried down 13.4% to 447.8 million tonne-kilometre.

Regional cargo load factors saw East Asia down by the most (31.9 percentage points), and The Americas and Europe down by just 6.6 and 12.3 percentage points respectively.

In a trading statement, the airline said: “The cargo load factor of 55.1% was 17.4 percentage points lower year-on-year.

“Cargo loads declined by 13.4% year-on-year due to weaker demand, while capacity expanded by 14.1% as increased passenger services resulted in higher bellyhold capacity.”

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