by Ernie B. Calucag
Singapore Airlines (SIA), which is struggling with weak load factors, said on Wednesday it will suspend services to Abu Dhabi and Athens due to weak demand on both routes.
The last flights to both cities will depart Singapore on 26 October 2012.
SIA, the world’s second-largest carrier by market value, currently flies to and from Abu Dhabi three times a week. The Singapore flag carrier flies to the Greek capital twice a week, rising to thrice a week between early July and late September.
The airline will continue to serve Dubai in the UAE, while connections to and from Athens are also possible on Star Alliance partner airlines via several of SIA’s other European points.
“The suspensions are in line with Singapore Airlines’ policy to match capacity to prevailing market demand,” the airline said in a statement.
SIA reported lower passenger and cargo load factor on Tuesday, down to 68.5 per cent for April from 69.6 per cent in March.
Meanwhile, its regional unit, SilkAir, reported a rise of 2.5 percentage points in its passenger load factor to 77.2 per cent from a year earlier.
The airline said last week that it will focus on the network of Asian cities being served by SilkAir as a strategy to drive growth going forward.
Earlier this month, SIA posted its first quarterly loss in more than two years, hammered by rising fuel costs and slower demand and increasing competition on long-haul routes.
SIA shares closed higher at S$10.33 on Wednesday from previous day’s close of S$10.28.