The aviation sector was arguably among the worst-hit sectors in the Covid-19 pandemic. Flag carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA), regularly voted as one of the best airlines in the world, was not spared either. Following a series of evacuation flights to bring back students studying overseas and other stragglers, the airline grounded its fleet and put many aircraft into dry storage. Pilots who weren’t let go mostly flew cargo while cabin crew were redeployed to train stations and hospitals.

The once-bustling Changi Airport that moved 68.3 million passengers in 2019, fell silent. Entire terminals were shut with only the occasional security officer, cleaner and traveller roaming its cavernous departure and arrival halls. SIA went deep into the red and the Singapore government, via Temasek, launched a massive rescue package that will eventually hit $15 billion when fully exercised.

One year on, the airline remains loss-making. However, there are signs of a nascent recovery, which hopefully will put the company — once dubbed “The Flying Bank” for its earnings capability — back into the path of profitability.

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