During SARS, SIA was losing around S$2 million to S$3 million a day. SIA lost S$312 million in the first quarter of 2003, at the height of the outbreak of (SARS) severe acute respiratory syndrome. In the first quarter of 2004, it reported a profit of S$259 million. The turnaround was swift and SIA recovered.
Can SIA do it again this time around? Well,in the first place SIA is not losing any money at the moment. By the look of things,its profit may dipped severely but is still profitable. SIA has not pressed the panic button like in 2003 where it paid some staff to leave in the form of the"Golden Handshake" scheme. It also retrenched unproductive staff.
If you look around,the economic situation is really bad. People are being retrenched worldwide. Yes,millions in most major industries had lost their jobs. Singaporeans are not spared either.
How about the staff in Singapore Airlines? Anyone got retrenched recently as a result of the financial meltdown? None right?
The furthest it went was asking some pilots on the freighter to take no pay leave. In cabin crew, the members were ask to volunteer for no pay leave. No one,to my knowledge was given the "Early Retirement" nor retrenched.
In this trying times,people still have to travel. Many may have downgraded from prime class travel to economy class travel....but they still have to travel,be it being reallocated back to their head offices or being sent home after losing their jobs. Others still travel for businesses' sake and leisure.
The recent concluded travel fair in Singapore reported an increased in travel sales. While the number of visitors dropped 3.5 per cent, over S$45 million of travel sales was chalked up, compared to the S$50 million achieved in the previous year, when the economy was flying high
This year more Singaporeans are travelling and naturally SIA will benefit more from this.