SIA Fleet Cuts

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has revealed that it will cut capacity by 11% in the coming financial year commencing April 2009, as it mitigates the impact of the global economic downturn. The airline will decommission 17 aircraft (believed to be a mix of older Boeing 747-400 and B777 models) and scale-back frequencies to all regions of the world. SIA was only due to retire four aircraft from service in the 2009/2010 financial year – one for conversion to a freighter and three to be returned to lessors at completion of lease contracts.
“We have to face the reality that 2009 is going to be a very difficult year,” said Singapore Airlines CEO, Chew Choon Seng. “SIA does not have a domestic operation to soften the blow from the slump in international air traffic, and we have to act decisively to address the situation.”
The falling demand is clearly reflected in forward bookings, according to the airline and as a result it is cutting a number of frequencies on many routes and substituting B777-300ERs for B747-400s on many flights including some links to Hong Kong, London and San Francisco.