SINGAPORE (Jan 15): Singapore Airlines Group announced that its passenger load factor (PLF) for Dec 2017 rose 1.8 percentage points (ppt) to 84.7%.

Passenger carriage, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, increased 5.1% to 11.9 billion compared to 11.3 billion last year.

This outpaced capacity, measured in available seat kilometre, which was up 2.9% to 14.0 billion.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) PLF improved 2ppt to 84.4%, while passenger carriage increased 3.1% to 8.6 billion from 8.4 billion in 2016. PLF for all route regions improved due to stronger passenger demand during the year-end peak.

Capacity saw a mere 0.7% increase to 10.3 billion from 10.2 billion a year ago.

The operating landscape remains challenging for SIA, with efforts focused on balancing yields against loads, amidst competitive pressures

As for SilkAir, PLF was up 1.1ppt to 76.6%, led by growth in demand in China and Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, passenger carriage increased 12.2% to 814 million from 725.5 million, while capacity jumped 10.5% to 1.06 billion compared to 961.5 million a year ago.

During the month, SilkAir also took delivery of its third 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Scoot, the group’s budget airline, recorded PLF of 88.7%, 1ppt less than 87.7% in 2016, boosted by improvements in all route regions.

Passenger carriage increased by 8% to 877 million compared to 812 million last year. Capacity also increased by 9% to 2.7 billion from 2.5 billion a year ago.

During the month, Scoot also commenced its second long-haul service to Honolulu (via Osaka), as well as direct services to Harbin. The second of the 12 A320 aircraft which were subleased to IndiGo was returned to Scoot, bringing the narrow-body fleet to 25 aircraft.

On the other hand, the group’s cargo segment recorded a cargo load factor (CLF) of 66.8%, 1.9ppt higher than 64.9 last year.

CLF improved across all regions, except Americas, as demand outpaced capacity changes.

Freight carriage increased by 4.3% to 651.9 million from 624.9 million, while capacity was up by 1.5% to 976.5 million from 962.3 million in the previous year.

Shares in SIA Group closed at $11.07 on Monday.