S'pore Airlines thanks Govt for S$870 million support of aviation industry

The SIA Group reported a net loss of S$142 million in the third quarter of 2020/2021.

Andrew Koay | February 17, 2021, 12:08 PM

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) has thanked the government for its continued support, as announced during yesterday's (Feb. 16) Budget 2021 speech.

As part of measures to aid sectors adversely affected by Covid-19, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that S$870 million had been set aside as targeted support for the aviation industry.

SIA Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong praised the budget announcements, along with the prioritisation of the aviation sector in Singapore's vaccine roll-out.

"The measures will help to bolster the SIA Group’s plans to navigate the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, while remaining nimble and flexible to seize all opportunities as international routes re-open and travel sentiments improve," he said in a statement.

"The initiatives will also help our employees to retain their knowledge and competencies, and acquire new skills if necessary, ensuring that they are future-ready during this critical period."

Jobs Support Scheme extended

In his speech, Heng extended the jobs support scheme for firms in Tier 1 sectors — which includes aviation — by six months.

Firms in these sectors will receive 30 per cent support for wages paid from April to June 2021, and 10 per cent support for wages paid from July to September 2021.

He also outlined plans the sector had in mind to upgrade its capabilities and prepare for the recovery.

Net loss of S$142 million

The relief comes after the SIA Group reported a net loss of S$142 million in the third quarter of 2020/2021.

According to a press release from SIA on Feb. 4, they recorded a total group revenue of S$1.067 billion in the third quarter.

This was a major drop from the S$3.404 billion recorded in the third quarter of one year previous, mostly due to the global Covid-19 pandemic affecting passenger numbers.

However, SIA earned revenue from cargo flights, with strong demand for pharmaceutical and e-commerce goods. SIA stepped up capacity with passenger aircraft operating cargo-only flights.

"Since the start of Covid-19, the SIA Group has worked with our partners to continue providing essential passenger and cargo connectivity between Singapore and major economies around the world," said Goh after the Budget 2021 announcements.

"We are grateful for the support of all customers, stakeholders and staff members. The foundations that we build during this crisis will put us in a strong position to overcome the current challenges and cement our leading position in a fast-changing aviation environment.”

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