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SIA axes flights to Canberra, Dusseldorf, Stockholm and Wellington for good

SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) will permanently suspend services to Canberra, Dusseldorf, Stockholm and Wellington under a review of its network amid the coronavirus crisis.

Stations in those cities will be closed as a result of this decision, the embattled national carrier said in an operational update on Tuesday.

SIA also said it "continues to review its fleet and network plans" to prepare for a "very different aviation landscape" due to Covid-19. The group added that it will continue to closely monitor demand patterns in international air travel, and "be flexible and nimble" in deploying capacity in response.

This comes as demand for air travel continues to be "severely curtailed", with most countries around the world continuing to maintain border controls and travel restrictions so as to curb the spread of the virus.

Group passenger capacity (measured in available seat kilometres) for August was down by 92.2 per cent on the year. Meanwhile, overall passenger carriage (measured in revenue passenger-kilometres) for August was lower by 98.3 per cent year on year.

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SIA said last week that it would cull 4,300 positions - about 20 per cent of its workforce - as a slow recovery in travel demand prompts carriers around the world to right-size their operations.

The retrenchment exercise started on Monday, with about 2,400 staff both in Singapore and abroad likely to face lay-offs. The remaining 1,900 roles will be eradicated through natural attrition, voluntary departure schemes and a recruitment freeze.

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