SQ offers crew unpaid leave


SINGAPORE, 8 August 2017: Singapore Airlines said at the weekend it has offered cabin crew unpaid leave in a cost-cutting measure as it struggles to keep up in an increasingly tough market.

The city-state’s flag carrier has been battling strong competition from Asian low-cost carriers and Middle Eastern airlines, which now boast modern fleets and top-quality inflight services.

The airline, which posted a net loss in the fourth quarter of the last financial year, has launched a wide-ranging review and refused to rule out job cuts.

The company said it had offered its cabin crew the option of taking unpaid leave between September and November this year due to a “temporary surplus of crew”.

“Having temporary surpluses or deficits of cabin crew is not unusual due to the nature of our business, and this voluntary scheme over a specific period of time is to ensure that we efficiently manage crew resources and operational requirements,” a spokesman said.

The spokesman added the airline now plans to offer the option from time to time in the future.

Singapore Airlines did not say how many of its 8,200 crew members had so far taken up the offer or how many staff they hoped would choose to partake in the scheme.

It last resorted to the measure in 2009, after the global financial crisis.

Aviation analyst Shukor Yusof of Endau Analytics told AFP it showed “legacy carriers” were finding it harder to survive.

“(Singapore Airlines’) business travel segment has been hit hard and more are turning to low-cost carriers,” he said.

© Agence France-Presse


  1. The subsidised Gulf airlines have created an unfair market position for the legacy carriers. Qatar, in spite of its huge limitations on Gulf airspace, continues to operate using longer routes, this only because they don’t have to make money, get free gas and soft loans on their remaining planes. SQ is the best airline in the world with the best crew, yet without subsidies they cannot compete. Time to boycott the Gulfie crew of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar.

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