Singapore: Singapore Airlines (SIA) said on Tuesday its net profit fell an annual 42.8% in the third quarter to December as it carried fewer passengers and cargo due to the global economic downturn.
SIA, one of Asia’s major airlines, forecast a bleak outlook for this year, confirming projections by economists that the global economic situation will worsen before improving.
The airline became the latest major carrier to report a big profit fall or losses during the global economic slowdown, which has hurt travel worldwide.
Net profit came in at 337 million Singapore dollars, from 590 million dollars, on revenue of 4.16 billion dollars which was down 2.6% year on year, the airline said in a statement.
SIA said it carried 4.8 million passengers in the October to December period, down 4.2% from the same quarter the year before as travel demand took a hit.
It also carried 14.2% less freight during the quarter, mirroring a sharp fall in global trade as economies worldwide reel from the impact of the financial crisis.
“Demand for air transportation is expected to remain weak for much of 2009,” SIA warned.
“The company will continue to monitor the patterns of demand and make appropriate adjustments to flight schedules and capacity while managing costs tightly.”
SIA announced late January the suspension of some international flights, saying it did not want to fly half-empty planes around the world. Flights to India, Southeast Asia, the US and Europe were among those affected.
Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region are cutting routes and taking other measures in a bid to deal with the drastic drop in travellers and cargo, and analysts said some carriers may be forced to slash jobs.