Hi Mr. Luke,
I believe SIA at the moment is still in the greens although probably with less profit due to their intense fuel hedging done before the oil price drop.
I do agree that Middle Eastern Airlines are doing very well, they grow at a much faster rate and have extremely good penetration into new markets like SEA. An example is Emirates which not only flies to capital cities like Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, but it has started to fly to other cities in Malaysia too, such as Kuching in Sarawak, which is kind of surprising for a small country.
In SIA's defense, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar have a geographical edge against most other airlines, including SIA. Although SIA boast to be in the geographical center, but compared to Dubai and Doha, Singapore is not that much of a 'center' compared to the Middle Eastern cities.
The strategies used by the Middle Eastern Airlines are also different from SIA's. Using their geographical center, they use their city hubs as the concentrator for passengers, driving all the passengers through their cities before sending them out to their final destinations. SIA, however, does not do that, and it doesn't seem viable to do so either, SIA seems to use the 'direct flight' strategy more often. Because of the differences in strategy, it is no surprise that Emirates is able to ensure a filled outgoing flight using A380 while other airlines maybe struggling. No surprise that Emirates love A380 and is the largest user of the wide bodied A380 and B777.
SIA is also experiencing staunch competition from regional budget carriers like Airasia X and Lion Air. Very few airlines currently carry both the full service carrier and a budget carrier. SIA is one of them which has SIA, Silkair, Tigerair & Scoots. I believe in the next 5-10 years, whether the SIA group will be successful or not depends on the synergy of these subsidiaries within the group, and whether it was a good idea to have such clear distinction between the services by having the four entities rather than just 1 SIA which can cater to various passenger needs. Will the budget carrier subsidiaries drag passengers away from the full service carrier within the group is something we will have to wait and see. Such conflict of interest may not work to the advantage of SIA group as a whole.
Scoot does seem to be doing relatively good for a new airline adding new destinations relatively fast. Maybe the management of Scoot and Tigerair under one holding company would improve Tigerair's performance too which has been in the red for a few years.