Singapore Airlines (SIA), one of the largest and best airlines in the world, registered a net profit of 121.8 million Singapore dollars (96.1 million U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of financial year 2013-14, soaring 56.2 percent on year.
The company said the sharp improvement was mainly due to gains from the sale of aircraft and exceptional items, including a net gain of 336 million Singapore dollars (265 million U.S. dollars) from the sale of its stake in Virgin Atlantic to Delta Air Lines.
The revenue in the April to June period rose to 3.84 billion Singapore dollars (3.03 billion U.S. dollars), a slight rise of 1. 7 percent on year.
The SIA said the parent airlines' passenger carriage, in terms of revenue passenger kilometres, increased 1.6 percent in Q1.
But it lagged behind capacity expansion of 3.5 percent, resulting in a 1.5 percentage point drop in passenger load factor to 78 percent, it added.
Its regional subsidiary SilkAir saw its capacity expanding by 16.6 percent but passenger carriage grew at a slower 6.2 percent. Therefore, its passenger load factor fell 6.8 percentage points to 69.6 percent.
Looking forward, the airlines said it will continue to be impacted by the "uncertain global economic climate and high fuel prices". It expects passenger bookings for the next few months higher compared with the same period last year and in line with the planned increase in passenger capacity.
"However, yields are expected to be weaker as a result of the intense competitive environment," it said.
The SIA faces fierce competition as several Asian carriers, budget carriers, as well as airlines from the Middle East enter into the regional market.
The company's share fell 0.582 percent to close at 10.25 Sinagpore dollars (8.08 U.S. dollars) on Thursday before the financial result was announced.