SQ confirms big job cuts

SINGAPORE 14 September 2020:  Singapore Airlines Group will cut around 4,300 jobs due to the “ debilitating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the urgent need for the Group’s airlines to adapt to an uncertain future.”

In a statement released late last week the airline group said that “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 overseas stations.”

It warned of a long road to recovery as the group comes to terms with operating with  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.

When compared with other airlines in the region, 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.

The 4,300 job cuts will be spread across Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot.

Earlier in the year, the airline implemented 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.

Singapore Airlines chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong said: “When the battle against Covid-19 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.”

He warned that the “next few weeks would be some of the toughest in the history of the SIA Group as some of our friends and colleagues leave the company.”

(Source: SIA Group)