Singapore Airlines suffers record loss as virus hits aviation

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Singapore Airlines on Friday reported a record net loss for its fiscal second quarter as the carrier continued to reel from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global air travel. The airline, which has shed thousands of jobs and grounded much of its fleet, said its net loss in July-September totalled Sg$2.34 billion (US$1.7 billion), down from a net profit of Sg$94.5 million in the same period the year before. Revenue for the quarter plunged 81.4 percent to Sg$783.8 million, the airline said in a statement. First half net losses totalled Sg$3.47 billion. “The recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to remain patchy, given the new waves of infections around the world and concerns about imported cases,” it said. The carrier added that it had concluded talks with Airbus on a revised schedule for the delivery of aircraft orders and similar negotiations with Boeing were at an “advanced stage”. Last month the firm said it was cutting about 4,300 jobs – around 20 percent of its workforce. With the aviation industry in deep crisis due to the pandemic, airlines have turned to alternative ways to raise cash, from offering “flights to nowhere” to tours of aircraft. Singapore’s flag-carrier scrapped earlier plans for no-destination flights following an outcry over the potential environmental impact. But it offered passengers the chance to dine on board two parked A380 superjumbos – the world’s biggest passenger jet – and is also offering home deliveries of plane meals. Industry body the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that airlines operating in the Asia-Pacific region stand to lose a combined $27.8 billion this year. IATA forecast in July that global air traffic is unlikely to return to pre-coronavirus levels until at least 2024 – a year later than previously projected. MOST VIEWED MOST ENGAGING [COMMENTARY] Coldplay can unite Biden and Jokowi Whirlwinds damage homes in East Nusa Tenggara, Yogyakarta Police collect nearly Rp 5 billion in fines from COVID-19 protocol violators Transitional PSBB in Jakarta extended to Nov. 22 Mount Merapi spews lava amid increasing volcanic activity Challenges of home learning during a pandemic through the eyes of a student Indonesia’s latest official COVID-19 figures Jokowi congratulates Biden-Harris on electoral victory Dozens of suspected terrorists nabbed amid escalating spread of propaganda during pandemic Some Indonesians still believe COVID-19 is a conspiracy.