AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Silk Air’s fleet expansion pays off with 26% surge in RPK

The regional wing of Singapore Airlines outperformed SIA in terms of revenue passenger kilometer although demand in the freighter segment remained weak.

While SIA’s capacity growth came in at 2.9% y-o-y, SilkAir’s move to expand its fleet by 22% as it begins flights to new destinations in India, China and Indonesia resulted in the carrier’s RPK surge of 26.2% y-o-y and 4.8% m-o-m, with load factor coming in at 77.2%.

Despite the single-digit capacity growth recorded by SIA, DMG Research said the carrier’s operating statistics for the first month of FY13 were “encouraging” and well within its forecasts. 

Revenue passenger km (RPK) grew +9.8% y-o-y (m-o-m: -1.4%) as the airline embarked on promotions to counter intense competition, a move that will make a dent on yields. 

Passenger load factor, meanwhile, improved y-o-y and m-o-m by 5.1ppts and 0.2ppts, respectively, to 79.7%. 

With global GDP growth moderating, SIA’s cargo division remained under pressure as yields and volume declined (y-o-y: -8.8; m-o-m: -10.3%), notably on shipment services to Europe and East Asia. 

Top officials of SIA have earlier indicated that the cargo division may only see a recovery by 2H this year.

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