SIA flight schedule recovery still at under 90%

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  • cwoodward

    I remembered reading in May that SIA was recovering fast and that it had reached near 90% of its pre-pandemic schedule very quickly compared with the slow to recovery of Asian rival Cathay Pacific who had been much harder hit and was seemingly seriously wounded.

    I was thus surprised to read on the SIA website today that they had still only recovered to 89% of their former schedule at end July and had carried 1,939m pax in the month.

    This recovery if the quoted figures are correct now appears rather slow when compared with the 1,750 million pax carried by the now fast recovering rival Cathay Pacific who in the same month had reached just less than 60% of its full schedule according to its website.

    There seem few hard hit large airlines that have quickly been able to recover to 100% of their former schedules and I am wondering why the last 10% is proving so difficult or could it perhaps be that the last 10% of the former schedules is no longer viable or needed?


    Hi cwooward. I would have to agree that there will always be marginal routes which never make it back post Covid although 10% seems to be a high percentage. Reduced fleet size and a reduction in overall available capacity will have a bearing on which routes come back in full. I flew four sectors with Cathay last week and the flights and indeed HK airport were both busy and would indicate that better days are ahead for both airline and airport. Cathay have always been my Asia carrier of choice because they are part of oneworld and I also prefer going through Hong Kong which is a great airport to transit through.


    I am one world but and admittedly i have only flown a handful on SIA but they are a different league from Cathay (and to a lesser extent ba) – service on SIA is amazing and such a good product on a380 v cathay fleet.

    Wish i had singapore as a local carrier v cathay.


    SIA are undoubtedly a very good airline but possibly not as good as they once were prior last year’s major management changes.
    The nonsense lunch box food service was rather rather revealing of this and ongoing it seems that the reported poor quality of the food and service is generating considerable negative comment. Being government owned and generously funded of course must be of considerable benefit when the going gets tough.
    How fortunate we are to benefit from two of the world’s best airlines on our doorstep.

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    @cwoodward, that is a good point as I accept I have not flown SIA post pandemic. However the first suite was amazing on the A380 and was a special treat for me to experience and when it was cheaper than it is now.

    I do agree that we are lucky to have both airlines on our doorstep – I do enjoy Changi airport but probably due to novelty value as i see less often than HK airport (and which i do also think is one of the best and I probably take for granted). We also have a lot of other highly rated carriers to choose from and which often offer good connections (i.e. the variety for Bangkok as an example) – I think we are spoilt!

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    My first flights were with SIA in January 1973 in Y class BKK-SIN-MEL XXX SYD-SIN-BKK so a mixture of short and long-haul sectors.

    It was not long after SIA was founded and there was an air of excitement about this new flag-carrier.

    Hard to imagine today but this newcomer was operating second-hand aircraft and its 707s deployed to Australia were ex-Qantas and they still carried the wattle leaf symbols along the cabin walls.

    Of course SIA and Singapore’s airport (in 1973 it was Paya Lebar) has now changed beyond recognition but over the years there are been onboard service reductions in Y class bit by bit.

    Perhaps the most significant (for Y class) was the adoption of cardboard box catering for Y and premiun Y passengers.

    Initially on short regional routes, which I can understand, but earlier this year these cardboard boxes were trialled on long-haul sectors like LHR and SFO.

    It’s all been reported on

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    SIA was officially incorporated in January 1972 and Alex would have been a very early passenger. I have a little history for those interested in these things.

    The history of the airline is much older and the airline actually traces its history to the formation of Malayan Airways, which was set up in October 1937. That company was jointly owned by British Imperial Airways, Ocean Steamship Company of Liverpool and Straits Steamship Company of Singapore.

    When Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak gained their independence and formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 and the airline’s name was changed, from “Malayan Airways” to “Malaysian Airlines” (though still abbreviated to MAS).

    By 1971, the Singapore and Malaysian governments had developed differing aims for the airline. Singapore wanted Malaysia-Singapore Airlines to be a commercially viable international airline while Malaysia preferred to have a domestic airline. The differences had become irreconcilable,and following Singapore’s separation from the federation, the airline’s name was changed again, to Malaysia – Singapore Airlines (MSA).

    In January 1972, the Singapore government announced that the by now Singapore’s flag carrier would be named ‘Mercury Singapore Airlines’. This was challenged in court and under the court agreement, Singapore could not use the name Mercury Singapore Airlines or the initials MSA.

    Thus in July 1972, Singapore announced that the new name of its airline would be Singapore Airlines and on 1 October, the airline’s first flight, SQ 108, to Kuala Lumpur, took off at around 6.15 am.
    By this time the airline owned its own fleet of five (ex Qantas) 707s- five 737-112s, and two Fokker F-27 Friendships.

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    I understand that MAS in Malay means gold although Google thinks it means honey. Maybe because they are about the same colour.

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