AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

SIA cuts 4,300 jobs

The group has begun discussion with its Singapore-based unions.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has cut 4,300 positions across its airlines, according to a press release.

After accounting for 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, it said.

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

Discussions have reportedly begun with SIA's Singapore-based unions. The airlines said that it will work closely with them to finalise the arrangements as soon as possible for those affected.

SIA Group said that it is in an even more vulnerable position compared to other airlines globally due to the lack of a domestic market that will be the first to see a recovery. In order to remain viable in this uncertain landscape, the Group's airlines will operate a smaller fleet for a reduced network compared to their pre-COVID operations in the coming years.

"To prepare for this future, the group needs to cut around 4,300 positions across Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot. This 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," the group stated.

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, the airlines said.

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