Singapore Airlines says will reduce all-business flights

Singapore Airlines is reducing its all-business class service to New York and Los Angeles in the face of the global economic downturn, the carrier said on Wednesday.

The 14 weekly Airbus A345 flights will be cut to 10, Singapore Airlines (SIA) said, adding the change will initially take effect between February 17 and March 25.

"This is part of our capacity adjustments to ensure capacity better matches demand during the economic downturn," SIA's vice president of public affairs, Stephen Forshaw, said in a statement.

"We don't want to be flying half-empty planes around the world any longer than we have to, because it increases our cost burden at a time when we can least afford that."

The non-stop all-business service to New York began in May last year, followed by Los Angeles in August.

Earlier in January, SIA and travel agents said the carrier was cutting more than 200 flights to Europe, Australia, China, and India in response to falling passenger numbers amid the global slowdown.

The airline said its December passenger numbers were down 7.5 percent year-on-year.

Analysts have said the airline industry will be hit hard by the deepening global economic slump which has seen people cut back on discretionary spending such as leisure travel.

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