Singapore Air, Cathay Pack Planes, Mask Yield Slump

October 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Related Interests

Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. are flying fuller planes. Profits may take longer to recover.

dataSingapore Air, the world’s largest airline by market value, packed an average of 79 percent of its seats in July and August, while Cathay, Hong Kong’s biggest carrier, filled 83.8 percent, beating their averages for the year. Airlines have slashed ticket prices to lure business and leisure travelers amid the worst global recession in six decades as well as taking planes out of service. The discounts have pushed global ticket prices to “profitless levels,” according to the International Air Transport Association, with August premium-class fares 22 percent lower than a year earlier. “It’s better than flying empty planes, but yields are still not strong,” said Christopher Wong, a fund manager at Aberdeen Asset Management Ltd. in Singapore, which oversees about $25 billion of Asian assets. “The worst is probably over, but I am not saying there’s going to be a strong recovery.” Airlines globally may lose $11 billion this year, IATA said last month, widening its June forecast by $2 billion. Asia- Pacific carriers will account for a third of that, the trade group predicted.
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