More than 6,000 of the 27,000 employees of the Singapore Airlines (SIA) group have taken free leave of varying duration to help companies cope with falling air travel due to Covid-19. In addition, more than 1,700 employees, including ground crew, pilots and cabin crew, have applied for volunteer positions and jobs in outside organizations. The SIA group – which includes SIA, regional branch SilkAir and economy airline Scoot – released the data to The Straits Times on Friday. His spokesman said he arranged temporary and secondary placements for his staff. “Lots of our staff from our team volunteering themselves for many positions that’s available within the company, This includes the role of ambassador and opportunities at public transportation stations, social service hospitals also for social service offices” the spokesman said. Personnel can apply for external roles through the SIA employee support portal. They can also take advantage of online financial, mental, and physical health programs as needed. Free leave schemes and allowing staff to find additional work are part of several cost-cutting measures that airlines have introduced as the pandemic rages.
Some SIA Group Crew Members Still Receive Their Base Salary
ST is aware that the SIA Group non-flying pilots and cabin crew still receive their base salary, but are not entitled to the flight allowance which substantially increases their salary. For staff now associated with other organizations, it is understandable that their salaries vary. SIA helps supplement the wages of those who earn less than their base salary, which is about $ 1,500 for cabin crew members. The SIA Group, unlike many other airlines, has so far managed to avoid layoffs, with financial assistance from Temasek and a government employment support scheme. But it is currently running at only 7% of its scheduled capacity compared to before the pandemic. Some of the cabin crew had not flown for months. Last month, the company posted a net loss of $ 1.12 billion in the quarter ended June 30, the biggest quarterly loss on record. Demand for air travel is expected to remain low for the foreseeable future, with the International Air Transport Association saying it will be until 2024 before demand returns to last year’s levels.
Experts say the various measures, which include raising $ 11 billion so far this financial year, will help the SIA Group, but may not go so far as to avoid layoffs. This is because the airline is overstaffed for the current level of demand and the rapid recovery is nowhere to be seen.
Another Singaporean airline, Jetstar Asia, announced in June that it was cutting an estimated 26% – or around 180 – of its jobs.
Most of the remaining staff have also been laid off by at least the end of this year and are currently receiving salaries for their livelihoods.
Like the SIA Group, Jetstar Asia also employs personnel for external roles. Last month he told ST that more than 300 employees have been employed in the public and private sectors to help fight Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the SIA Group said its flight staff – about 3,200 pilots and nearly 11,000 cabin crew – were continuing to update their skills despite a drastic drop in flights.
The pilot now uses more e-learning resources than simulator training. Those who have not flown for a long time will be further trained.
Therefore, pilots must undergo the necessary capability checks before returning to operational flights.
For cadet pilots, ground training continues, although simulator training has been suspended.
As for cabin crew, they have undergone a regular online program approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, said a spokesman for the SIA Group.
There is also standardization procedure that the crew have to pass. Requirement for Cabin crew is to complete and pass online fleet operations as well as current training and testing to ensure their qualifications. They are also scheduled to take training courses on the ground and must pass all necessary safety drills. The staff will be prepared, because in the next few months several planes from the SIA Group and Jetstar Asia will take off. SIA said its passenger capacity would increase to around 8% from pre-Covid-19 levels at the end of October.