Temasek Holdings to 'lend support' to help S'pore Airlines tide through Covid-19 crisis

This sounds like it'll be big.

Zhangxin Zheng| March 26, 05:17 PM

On March 26, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat unveiled a supplement Budget to help Singaporeans and companies to tide through the economic doldrums ahead as the Covid-19 pandemic persists.

SIA to receive "support" from Temasek, details unspecified

The aviation industry has been affected heavily by the disease outbreak, but in a potentially groundbreaking announcement, Heng said Singapore's national carrier, Singapore Airlines (SIA), is considering a "corporate action" supported by its major shareholder, Temasek Holdings.

Heng said that he welcomes Temasek's decision to "lend support" to SIA as SIA is an "outstanding airline" and a "strategic asset" for the country.

More details will be revealed in an announcement coming from the two firms.

Earlier Thursday, SIA reportedly announced a halt in trading of its shares, according to The Business Times.

And prior to this, the airline group announced drastic cost-cutting measures, describing the Covid-19-aggravated economic crisis as the "greatest challenge" it has ever faced "in its existence".

This included grounding 96 per cent of its fleet, as well as getting its pilots to take tiered compulsory no-pay leave starting April.

Singapore's aviation industry to emerge strong after Covid-19 crisis

Heng also added that the government will provide more "direct support measures" to the aviation sector if necessary to ensure SIA to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis in "good shape".

"Ultimately, this is about preserving the status of our air hub, so that it can emerge stronger from this crisis, riding out this storm will require patience and adjustments. With resilience, I'm sure we'll be able to emerge stronger," Heng said in Parliament.

Heng also announced S$350 million support package to help the local aviation sector during this tough period.

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Top photo from Temasek Holdings and SIA