Covid-19: Singapore’s Changi Airport warns of daunting challenges

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Changi Airport Group (CAG), the operator of Singapore Changi Airport, has warned of a daunting future due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that battered the aviation industry.

This comes after the airport recorded the first drop in passenger traffic in more than a decade in the last fiscal year that ended on 31 March 2020.

According to a Bloomberg report, the airport operator noted in its annual report that the battle against Covid-19 has just begun, with so signs of abatement.

In the financial year 2019/20 (FY2019/20), CAG reported net profit attributable to shareholder of S$435m ($319.76m), a 36% drop from the previous year.

This comes after the group booked a non-cash impairment of assets in Tom Jobim International Airport (Tom Jobim) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in which CAG owns a 51% stake.

The Singapore airport has also suspended operations at two terminals to drive down operating costs.

In addition, CAG has decided to cut salaries by up to 30% and suspended dividend payments for a year to conserve capital.

It has also postponed a programme that involved building the fifth terminal at Changi Airport for at least two years.

In a statement, CAG said: “The impact of Covid-19 on the aviation industry has been without precedent. The operating results of the group are expected to be materially and adversely impacted for the year ending 31 March 2021.

“However, CAG will continue to invest prudently to ensure Changi Airport’s long-term competitiveness while maintaining high standards of safety and security.

“Changi Airport has begun transforming the passenger experience with new contactless and cleaning innovations for a safer, yet seamless, airport journey.”

It added that the extent of Covid-19’s impact on the longer-term operational and financial performance of the group continues to remain uncertain.

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