Singapore Airlines (SIA) has set up an internal task force to map out recovery plans for the airline as it braces to meet the demands of post-pandemic travelling, including heightened health and cleanliness concerns.
The move was announced by the airline’s CEO Goh Choon Phong on Friday (May 15), according to a report by Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
Currently, all passengers on SIA, SilkAir and Scoot flights are required to wear masks during their flights, as well as observe safe distancing measures when embarking or disembarking, and when queuing for the lavatory, said the report.
Responding to a query on whether air ticket prices would increase with safe distancing measures being rolled out on planes, executive vice-president of commercial Lee Lik Hsin was quoted by the report as saying that air fares were “a function of demand and supply” and that SIA will adapt accordingly when it resumes its services.
Goh and Lee were speaking at a virtual results briefing, held a day after SIA issued a press release announcing its first full-year net loss in its 48-year history, as Covid-19 crippled travel demand in 4Q.
The airline said in the release that it had set up an internal task force to review all aspects of its operations “to ensure that we are ready to ramp up services when air travel recovers”. This includes any modifications to the airline’s inflight products and end-to-end service delivery to ensure the health and safety of its customers and crew, it added.
Goh said the task force will comprise four working groups spearheading four different areas of recovery efforts, according to the CNA report.
The task force will look at addressing new travel demands, as well as health and travel regulations enforced by various governments.
The report also quoted Goh as saying that the task force will also work with partners in the supply chain, and ensure that its employees have the necessary licence and certification before it resumes operations.
SIA Group had reported a net loss of S$212 million (US$148.7 million) for FY19/20, a reversal from the S$683 million profit in the previous year.
The carrier said in the release that it “remains steadfast and agile during this period of uncertainty, and will continue to act nimbly in responding to evolving market conditions”.
It added that the group’s portfolio strategy, with a presence in both the full-service premium and low-fare segments, gives it the ability to offer the right products to match the demand when travel resumes.