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Home > Business > PTI > Report


SIA to increase seat capacity by over 11%

December 02, 2003 16:45 IST

Taking benefit of the limited open sky policy of the government, Singapore Airlines is mounting additional services to India between December and January, increasing its seat capacity by over 11 per cent.

The premier global airline would offer 10,481 seats in these two peak months as against the prevailing 9,168 seats per week, Rick Clements, vice president (public affairs), SIA, told reporters in New Delhi.

Stating that it would upgrade its Boeing-777 operations to Boeing-747s to Mumbai, he said this would raise the seat capacity in December-January from 3,188 to 3,545 a week.

SIA would add an additional flight to Bangalore, raising the weekly services from three to four and the seat capacity per week by 288, while in Chennai it would operate 747s five times a week and 777s twice a week, reversing the operation of aircraft.

The Singaporean carrier would also add an ad hoc service to Kolkata, where it already flies twice a week, Clements said, adding SIA planned to launch its third weekly services to the eastern metropolis soon. The additional service to Kolkata would raise the seat capacity offered from 323 to 646.

Replying to a question on the open sky announced by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during the recent India-Asean summit, he said the airline was still studying on which additional sectors to start operations on.

The SIA executive said the airline's fully owned subsidiary SilkAir was already operating to several places in South India including Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi and getting a good response.

Elaborating on SIA's route network developments and capacity increases worldwide, he said almost all services which were disrupted due to the economic slowdown, Iraq War and Sars, had been restored.

These included two new services to China, and increased flights and capacity to Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Indonesia.

On the financial front, SIA had made a big profit of 306 million Singapore dollars in the second quarter, almost wiping out the Q-1 loss of about 312 million Singapore dollars.

Clements said this was achieved primarily by downsizing of staff, wage cuts, retrenchments and extending early retirement benefits.

He said the load factors were good and steady at about 74 per cent, which were almost 1.6 per cent higher than in the same period last year. Added to this was a lot of "pent-up demand", which had remained unfulfilled during the Sars period, that pushed up the demand.

Cargo capacity had also been restored to its earlier levels, Clements added.


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