SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines and its low-cost carrier Scoot will expand its vaccinated travel lane (VTL) network in the coming weeks to connect 66 cities in 27 countries.
“New VTL services will be added progressively to selected cities in Southeast Asia and India, as well as Athens, from Mar 16, 2022,” the airlines’ parent company SIA Group said on Tuesday (Mar 15).
More non-VTL flights will also be converted to VTL flights for certain destinations, it added.
Reporting its operating results for February, SIA Group said passenger capacity fell slightly to 44 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels.
This is 2 per cent lower than in January, “attributable to February being a shorter month”, it said.
Passenger capacity is expected to reach around 57 per cent of what it was pre-COVID-19 by April this year.
The group passenger load factor was 39.1 per cent in February, a 0.9 per cent drop from the month before. The figure is a 29.4 per cent rise from the same time last year.
VTL ticket sales remained subjected to a 50 per cent reduction in arrival quotas in the first half of February.
“On Feb 16, 2022, Singapore announced that it would remove the 50 per cent cap, and progressively increase the VTL quota for daily arrivals from 5,000 to 15,000, by Mar 4, 2022,” said SIA Group.
Cargo operations registered a cargo load factor of 69 per cent in February, 25.6 per cent lower year-on-year; this was “in line with seasonal fluctuations”, it added.
Cargo capacity was up 50.4 per cent in February as a result of the progressive resumption of passenger flights.
But cargo loads rose just 9.8 per cent as overall air cargo demand eased during the Chinese New Year holiday period and more bellyhold space was allocated for carriage of passenger bags as passenger load factor improved, SIA Group said.
In February, Scoot added Miri to its network, while resuming services to Gold Coast and Hanoi. Singapore Airlines also resumed flights to Denpasar in Bali.
As at end-February, Singapore Airlines served 63 destinations, with Scoot flying to 37 destinations.