Updated on March 20, 2020:
***Details of the affected routes can be found here (as of March 19, 2020)***
Singapore Airlines (SIA) said it will cut more services across its global network as more countries impose border restrictions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Singapore Airlines is suspending additional services across its network amid an unprecedented time in the airline industry, when countries around the world impose border controls to stem the Covid-19 outbreak,” the airline said in a press release.
Suspensions mean that it will operate only 50 per cent of the capacity that it had initially scheduled up until the end of April.
The carrier added that it expects to make further cuts to its capacity due to “the growing scale of border controls” and their deepening impact on air travel as a number of countries worldwide have imposed travel bans and closed their borders in an effort to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“We have lost a large amount of our traffic in a very short time, and it will not be viable for us to maintain our current network. Make no mistake – we expect the pace of this deterioration to accelerate. The SIA Group must be prepared for a prolonged period of difficulty,” said SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong.
Singapore Airlines said tickets for flights that are cancelled will be automatically converted into an “open ticket” for travel, which only needs to be completed by 31 March 2021.
The airline said affected customers “do not need to contact the airline directly due to the large number of flight cuts”. Instead, they need to fill in the online assistance request form on the airline’s website with their details when their new travel plans have been “firmed up”, and then the airline’s customer service agents will contact them.
According to the airline, the online assistance request can be used by passengers who have purchased tickets directly from the airline. The airline said customers who purchased from a travel agency or through another airline need to contact their respective booking platform directly.
It added that for travel within 72 hours, customers should contact their local Singapore Airlines Office. Otherwise, they need to submit their request through an online assistance request form, and the airline said it will respond within seven business days.
Earlier this month, Singapore Airlines and its regional wing Silkair announced further flight cuts in response to a fall in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a 10.3 per cent decrease in scheduled capacity measured in available seat kilometres from February to the end of May 2020.
Regarding its frequent flyer policies, the airline has also “renewed the membership of selected KrisFlyer Elite Silver, Elite Gold, PPS and Solitaire PPS Club members for another year. These members have membership validity periods ending in February and March 2020.”