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SIA cancels more flights in response to weak demand

SINGAPORE AIRLINES (SIA) announced further flight cuts on Thursday due to tepid travel demand following the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

The latest wave of capacity reduction - which will temporarily remove 15.6 per cent of capacity from its network - affects flights to destinations such as Rome and China. Most of the capacity cuts last until May, although a handful of flights, such as to Christchurch and San Francisco, are affected in June as well.

While the World Health Organization has officially declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic, the flight suspensions were in response to the weak demand seen across the airline’s network over the past few weeks, an SIA spokeswoman told The Business Times.

Meanwhile, on Thursday (Singapore time), US President Donald Trump announced restrictions on travel from 26 European countries to the US for 30 days. The United Kingdom, however, is excluded from the travel ban. 

Commenting on whether SIA would make further flight suspensions given the latest travel ban, the SIA spokeswoman added: “We are still assessing the impact of the announcement on our operations.” The airline group operates flights between Singapore and New York via Frankfurt, in addition to direct flights between Singapore and New York. Shares in SIA shed 34 Singapore cents to close at S$7.34 on Thursday.