Singapore: Singapore Airlines, the world’s second largest airline by market value, posted on Thursday its first quarterly loss in six years as a global recession hit passenger and cargo demand.
Singapore Airlines also warned it could post a full year loss if adverse conditions continued, but said that its cash position remains strong and it does not need to raise capital.
The combination of the global economic downturn, the outbreak of H1N1 influenza and fuel hedging resulted in a loss of S$307.1 million ($212.7 million) for its first quarter ended June 2009, compared to a profit of S$358.6 million a year ago.
“This is the first quarterly loss since the Sars crisis in 2003,” the company said in a statement.
Singapore Air has seen falling passenger and cargo demand this year as a global recession hurt business and leisure travel, forcing it to reduce capacity by 11% in the 12 months from April, and cut salaries as well as working hours of their staff.
Singapore Airlines saw its overall load factor falling to 67.6% in June from 68.5% the same time last year, although the number has recovered slightly from 62.1% in February.