The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group is potentially cutting 2,400 jobs across Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot amidst the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Original figure could have been 4,300 potential job cuts
The airline is looking to operate a smaller fleet with a smaller network as compared to the pre-Covid landscape.
In a media release, SIA said that 4,300 jobs had to be cut across all three airlines, within Singapore and overseas.
However, as a result of a recruitment freeze in March 2020, vacancies that have opened up as a result of resignation and retirement have not been filled.
In addition, SIA also offered what it has termed "the most generous Special Early Retirement Scheme (SERS)" in its history to pilots and ground staff.
A Voluntary Release Scheme (VRS) was also offered to cabin crew, "to support those who may have been thinking of leaving for personal reasons."
The statement added, "Collectively, these measures have allowed the Group to eliminate some 1,900 positions and mitigate the impact on staff."
As such, this has reduced the potential number of job cuts to 2,400. SIA added that it has since commenced discussions with Singapore-based unions to finalise the arrangements for affected staff.
SIA hamstrung by lack of domestic market
SIA explained the reduction in its operating capacity:
"As previously indicated, the Group expects to operate under 50 per cent 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."
SIA also highlighted that it is particularly vulnerable as unlike other airlines, it does not serve a domestic market for air travel.
CEO Goh Choon Phong said this was the "hardest and most agonising decision" he ever had to make in his 30 years with the airline. He said SIA will do its best to provide necessary support for those affected.
Other measures SIA has taken:
The state of SIA's finances:
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Top image from Singapore Airlines Facebook