SINGAPORE – Despite having its worst year in history, Singapore Airlines remains confident that with access to a barrage of funds, it will be well equipped to establish itself as a competitive premium airline when the pandemic recedes.

General manager Goh Choon Phong said the money and resources his airline had access to would ensure it remains flexible and nimble enough to keep up when normalcy returns.

“The underlying demand for travel is actually very strong, as we saw when booking the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble was announced, “he said.

“But the virus situation is beyond our control. Nevertheless, we are optimistic that with the ongoing introduction of the vaccine and vaccination certificates, the journey will return. We look forward to calibrated border openings in the coming months. And when this happens.” we will be ready. “

In fact, the company appears to be well capitalized with $ 7.8 billion in cash, $ 2.1 billion in access to unused credit, and $ 6.2 billion in mandatory convertible borrowing to meet his needs for at least two years.

Steven Barnes, SIA’s chief financial officer, announced that cash burn had dropped from about $ 350 million a month a year ago to $ 250 million a month by February this year. It is now in the region of $ 100 to $ 150 million per month.

“We expect cashburn to stabilize at this level for the time being, although this picture may change depending on the conditions in the fuel market,” he said.

On Thursday (May 20), one day after the airline left, senior SIA officials answered questions from the media and analysts reported a record loss of $ 4.3 billion as passenger traffic fell 98 percent during the fiscal year affected by Covid-19 that ended March 31, 2021. Total annual revenue fell 76 percent to $ 3.8 billion from a record $ 15.9 billion last year.

They indicated that much of the losses were non-cash impairment losses, including $ 1.73 billion for aircraft impairment, $ 497 million for ineffective fuel hedges, and $ 36.9 million for asset depreciation at SIA Engineering.

Thanks to the active supply chains for e-commerce, pharmaceuticals and electronics, freight operations remained a ray of hope for SIA during the challenging year.

Mr Goh stated that freight will continue to lead as capacity utilization will steadily increase to 32 percent of pre-Covid levels through July this year.

“While freight demand remains robust, passenger demand will not be a smooth upward trend. New infections can flare up anywhere. But we now know that people who have been fully vaccinated are unlikely to be severely affected, and this is causing many countries to do so. ” calibrated edge openings. “

In the meantime, the airline is pushing its business transformation plan and strategic initiatives like that Merger of the main liner SIA and its regional airline SilkAir, and support the Expansion of the India-based partner Vistara. It is also aggressively pushing its popular KrisShop franchise into the e-commerce arena.

Mr Goh announced that Vistara had operated 80 percent of the pre-Covid level before the current outbreak of the pandemic.

He added that India, China and Southeast Asia would remain key markets for SIA and the airline would continue to build opportunities in these regions. In addition, alliances with partners such as Lufthansa, Scandinavian Air and Air New Zealand are being strengthened. Other alliances that were worked on prior to Covid-19 were with Malaysia Airlines and ANA of Japan.

When asked about the mandatory convertible bonds, Barnes said that these will be converted into shares when they mature. However, SIA is only required to pay interest and record that payment on its books if it decides to cash it at some point.

In his fleet plans, Mr Goh said that fleet renewal will remain a priority to ensure the airline always has the latest and most fuel-efficient aircraft. He added that the airline would be retiring seven of them 19 A380 super jumbos.

The remaining 12 planes would be well used, he said.