The number of employees affected, however, may be reduced to about 2,400, after taking into account recent moves like a hiring freeze and voluntary departure schemes.
SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group announced on Thursday (Sep 10) that it will cut around 4,300 positions across its three airlines as the aviation industry continues to be hit by the impact of COVID-19.
However, the number of employees affected may be reduced to about 2,400 -“mitigated” by measures like the recruitment freeze implemented in March, the early retirement scheme for ground staff and pilots, as well as a voluntary release scheme for cabin crew, it said.
“Collectively, these measures have allowed the Group to eliminate some 1,900 positions,” said SIA.
“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,” it added.
“Discussions have begun with our Singapore-based unions. The Group will work closely with them to finalise the arrangements as soon as possible for those affected, and try to minimise the stress and anxiety on our people.”
In a media release, SIA said the decision was taken in light of the “long road to recovery for the global airline industry due to the debilitating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”, adding that there is an “urgent need” for its airlines to adapt to an uncertain future.
In March, SIA announced that it would reduce flight capacity by 50 per cent.
It noted that industry groups have also forecast that passenger traffic will not return to previous levels until around 2024.
“Relative to most major airlines in the world, the 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,” it said on Thursday.
READ: Singapore Airlines to cut salaries by at least 10%, offers early retirement for eligible staff
In his message to employees, SIA CEO Mr Goh Choon Phong said nobody could have predicted the “devastating impact” of COVID-19 on the global aviation industry,” it added.
“From the outset, the SIA Group s priorities were to ensure our survival and save as many jobs as possible,” he said.
“Given the expectation that the road to recovery will be long and fraught with uncertainty, it has come to the point where we have to make the painfully difficult decision to implement involuntary staff reduction measures.
Mr Goh added that having to let go of valuable and dedicated employees is the “hardest and most agonising decision” he has had to make in his 30 years with the company.
“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,” said Mr Goh.
“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,” he added.
Published at Thu, 10 Sep 2020 11:07:52 +0000