SIA Group to slash about 4,300 jobs

Singapore's national airline have delayed layoffs for as long as they could amidst a 'debilitating' year

SIA Group to slash about 4,300 jobs

Last week (September 10), Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group announced the “difficult decision” to retrench about 4,300 employees across all its subsidiaries.

Besides Singapore Airlines, the cuts will also affect staff at SilkAir, Scoot and SIA Engineering Company.

In a press statement, SIA stated that total number of employees affected will be reduced to 2,400, after taking into account a recruitment freeze, natural attrition, and voluntary departures.

READ MORE: Singapore Airlines has no plans to retrench staff

SIA have successfully delayed layoffs throughout 2020 until now, despite being in one of the most hard-hit industries since COVID-19 started.

When the battle against Covid-19 began early this year, none of us could have predicted its devastating impact on the global aviation industry,” said Goh Choon Phong, CEO at SIA.

“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.”

Compared to pre-COVID levels, the group expects to operate under 50% of its capacity at the end of its financial year.

Industry groups, including the International Air Transport Association have also forecast that passenger traffic will not return to previous levels until around 2024.

READ MORE: 6,000 SIA staff on no-pay leave since COVID-19

SIA explained that the airline is in an “even more vulnerable” position as it does not have a domestic market to support or boost recovery.

Therefore, the groups airlines will have to operate a smaller fleet and be flying much less in the coming years, compared to the pre-COVID scale of operations.

The group have begun discussions with their Singapore-based unions and will work closely with them to finalise the arrangements for affected employees.

“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,” Goh said.

“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.”

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