Singapore Airlines (SIA) has reported a staggering S$4.3 billion net loss for the year ended March 2021.
It is a second consecutive annual loss for the SIA Group after what it has deemed the "toughest year in its history".
Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and restricted international travel, the group — which includes SIA, Silk Air, and Scoot — saw the passenger traffic drop by 97.9 per cent.
The Straits Times (ST) reported that the airline carried just 78,000 passengers in January this year, compared to 3.4 million in January 2020.
As a result, revenue fell by 76.1 per cent, from S$12.1 billion the year before to S$3.8 billion, read a May 19 news release.
The loss in passenger revenue was partially offset by revenues from cargo flown, which rose 38.8 per cent to S$2.7 billion.
This second year in the red was preceded by a S$212 million loss the year before — the airline's first ever loss in its 48 years of operation.
SIA also announced that it would issuing a second tranche of convertible bonds to raise approximately S$6.2 billion.
Group chairman Peter Seah said that liquidity raised through the convertible bonds would "further strengthen our financial position during these uncertain times, while providing the resources to position the SIA Group for growth and leadership."
SIA has so far raised S$15.4 billion in new liquidity since April 1, 2020.
Still "financially stable"
Despite the glum numbers, ST reported that SIA was still "financially stable"; it had a net cashflow of S$5.13 billion as at Mar. 31, with total cash and bank balances at S$7.78 billion.
The group has projected passenger capacity to be around 28 percent of pre-pandemic levels by June this year, increasing to 32 per cent by July.
Passenger numbers were at 110,000 in April – the highest since the pandemic crippled air travel.
"The group expects to continue with a measured expansion of the passenger network, and will remain nimble and flexible in adjusting capacity to meet the demand for air travel," said the airline.
In addition, SIA cited "strong fundamentals" as driving air cargo demand, with demand for e-commerce and pharmaceutical segments in particular described as "robust".
"SIA is well positioned to capture more Covid-19 vaccine shipments into the Asia Pacific region as vaccine production ramps up and exports grow."
Top image from Singapore Airlines' Facebook page