Singapore Airlines and its low-cost carrier Scoot will expand its Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) network from March 16 to connect to 66 cities in 27 countries, including India, a media report said on Tuesday.
VTL allows quarantine-free travel to Singapore for fully vaccinated travellers.
“New VTL services will be added progressively to selected cities in Southeast Asia and India, as well as Athens, from March 16, 2022,” a Channel News Asia report quoted the airlines’ parent company SIA Group as saying.
It said more non-VTL flights will also be converted to VTL flights for certain destinations and a total of 66 cities in 27 countries will be added.
Reporting its operating results for February, SIA Group said passenger capacity fell slightly to 44 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels.
This is 2 per cent lower than in January, “attributable to February being a shorter month”, the report said.
Passenger capacity is expected to reach around 57 per cent of what it was pre-COVID-19 by April this year.
The group passenger load factor was 39.1 per cent in February, a 0.9 per cent drop from the month before.
The figure is a 29.4 per cent rise from the same time last year.
VTL ticket sales remained subjected to a 50 per cent reduction in arrival quotas in the first half of February.
“On February 16, 2022, Singapore announced that it would remove the 50 per cent cap, and progressively increase the VTL quota for daily arrivals from 5,000 to 15,000, by March 4, 2022,” said SIA Group.
Cargo operations registered a cargo load factor of 69 per cent in February, 25.6 per cent lower year-on-year; this was “in line with seasonal fluctuations”, it added.
Cargo capacity was up 50.4 per cent in February as a result of the progressive resumption of passenger flights.
But cargo loads rose just 9.8 per cent as overall air cargo demand eased during the Chinese New Year holiday period and more bellyhold space was allocated for carriage of passenger bags as passenger load factor improved, the SIA Group said.
As at the end of February, Singapore Airlines served 63 destinations, with Scoot flying to 37 destinations, according to the Channel report.