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Fri, 11 September 2020

Singapore Airlines to Cut 4,300 Jobs

The Singapore Airlines Group (SIA) has announced that it needs to cut around 4,300 positions across Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot in Singapore and its overseas stations.

After taking into account a recruitment freeze, natural attrition, and the take up of voluntary departure schemes, the potential number of staff impacted will be reduced to about 2,400 in Singapore and in overseas stations.

The SIA Group expects to operate under 50% of its capacity at the end of financial year 2020/21 versus pre-COVID19 levels. Industry groups have also forecast that passenger traffic will not return to previous levels until around 2024.

Relative to most major airlines in the world, the SIA Group is in an even more vulnerable position as it does not have a domestic market that will be the first to see a recovery.

Singapore Airlines Cargo Boeing 747F and a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Changi Airport. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

The loss of 4,300 jobs from Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot has been mitigated by a recruitment freeze that was implemented in March 2020, open vacancies that were not filled, an early retirement scheme for ground staff and pilots, and a voluntary release scheme for cabin crew. Collectively, these measures have allowed the group to eliminate some 1,900 positions.

As a result, the potential job cuts across the Group may be reduced to around 2,400 in Singapore and across SIA's overseas stations.

Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Goh Choon Phong, said, "When the battle against COVID19 began early this year, none of us could have predicted its devastating impact on the global aviation industry. From the outset, our priorities were to ensure our survival and save as many jobs as possible. Given that the road to recovery will be long and fraught with uncertainty, we have to unfortunately implement involuntary staff reduction measures. Having to let go of our valuable and dedicated people is the hardest and most agonising decision that I have had to make in my 30 years with SIA. This is not a reflection of the strengths and capabilities of those who will be affected, but the result of an unprecedented global crisis that has engulfed the airline industry. The next few weeks will be some of the toughest in the history of the SIA Group as some of our friends and colleagues leave the company. We will conduct this process in a fair and respectful manner, and do our best to ensure that they receive all the necessary support during this very trying time."

To date, the SIA Group has raised $11 billion through a rights issue, secured financing, and additional lines of credit. The company continues to explore other sources of financing and has significantly reduced capital and operating expenditure since the onset of COVID19 by deferring non-critical projects, and by working with suppliers and partners to reduce costs, reschedule payments, and adjust aircraft delivery streams.

SIA reported a 99.5% decline in passenger carriage in the first quarter of FY20/21, and even today the SIA Group operates only 8% of its capacity when compared to pre-COVID19 levels. This is expected to increase to less than 50% at the end of the financial year.

See latest Travel News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, SIA, Singapore Airlines, Changi, Singapore.

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