Singapore Airlines reported a worse-than-expected quarterly loss as the global economic slowdown….

Written by Your VIPTRIP Team on November 12th, 2009

SINGAPORE — Singapore Airlines reported a worse-than-expected quarterly loss as the global economic slowdownaffected profit margins but said the outlook had improved.

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The airline, which warned in July that it might post a full-year loss if tough conditions persisted, had a net loss of 159 million Singapore dollars, or $114.6 million, for the three months through September, compared with a net profit of 324 million dollars a year earlier.

Five analysts polled by Reuters had expected an average net loss of 38 million dollars. The loss was narrower than the 307 million dollars recorded in the previous three-month period.

“Advance bookings indicate that demand for air travel has stopped declining and is gradually recovering,” Singapore Airlines said in a statement.

The carrier has seen falling passenger and cargo demand this year as the global economic downturn has reduced business and leisure travel, leading the airline to reduce capacity by 11 percent in the 12 months from April. The airline also cut staff salaries and working hours.

Analysts said the growing presence of budget airlines in the region was making life tougher for premium carriers like Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines. Budget carriers like AirAsia of Malaysia and JetStar of Australia are on an aggressive expansion drive despite the economic downturn.

JAL is undergoing a restructuring and negotiating for further government support after accumulating billions of dollars in losses.

Singapore Airlines, 55 percent owned by the state investor Temasek Holdings, has delayed deliveries of eight airplanes from Airbus by 6 to 12 months.

The world’s biggest air cargo carrier, Korean Air, posted a second consecutive quarterly net profit Tuesday, helped by lower fuel costs.

Net profit from July through September rebounded to 264 billion won, or $229 million, from a loss of 684.1 billion won a year ago.

Published: November 10, 2009
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