SIA pilots to have basic salaries restored to pre-pandemic levels by Jan. 2023

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Belmont Lay | May 04, 2022, 05:32 PM

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) pilots will have their basic salaries progressively restored to pre-Covid-19 levels by January 2023.

The restoration of basic salaries has already taken effect since April 1 as SIA has signed a new agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association - Singapore (Alpa-S), the union for pilots, The Straits Times reported.

Salary reductions of up to 30 per cent will continue to remain in effect for senior management and board members though.

The rosier outlook is due to the shedding of border restrictions as countries embrace restarting their aviation sectors after a gruelling lockdown period that saw revenues plummet.

In March 2022, SIA Group's passenger capacity reached 51 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels, and is expected to increase to about 61 per cent by the end of May 2022.

From 50% to 26.3% pay cut

Captains on re-employment contracts have had their pay cut reduced to 26.3 per cent, when previously, 50 per cent of their pre-pandemic basic pay was docked before the new agreement, according to ST.

The pay cut will be reduced to 17.5 per cent from July, and further reduced to 8.8 per cent from October.

By January 2023, basic salaries will be fully restored.

SIA Group, which operates SIA and low-cost carrier Scoot, currently employs about 2,700 pilots and more than 7,000 cabin crew, Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao reported.

About 40 per cent of an SIA pilot’s total monthly salary typically comes from a productivity allowance that is linked to flight hours, ST reported.

This comes on top of their basic wage.

Pay cuts less severe for other captains and first officers

The reduction in pay cuts for other captains and first officers in the group will depend on their remuneration, ST also reported.

Since April 2022, the pay cut for captains has been reduced from between 15 per cent and 18.5 per cent to between 7.5 per cent and 9.8 per cent, and will go down to between 5 per cent and 6.5 per cent from July, and then down to between 2.5 per cent and 3.3 per cent from October.

The pay cut for first officers was reduced from between 5 per cent and 8.5 per cent to between 2.3 per cent and 4.5 per cent, and will drop every three months until next January 2023.

If pilots clock more flight time, such as exceeding 65 hours a month, the pay cuts will cease earlier from December 2022 instead of January 2023.

Almost three years would have passed since SIA had to reduce expenditure during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 via pay cuts and other measures.


SIA had reached agreements with its unions, starting from April 2020, on varying days of compulsory no-pay leave every month for its pilots as a way to reduce costs as the pandemic came into full force.

An agreement was reached in August 2020 where pilots' salaries were docked by between 13 per cent and 50 per cent, which saw the cutting of the monthly variable component (MVC) that makes up about 10 per cent of a pilot's basic salary.

The initial proposal was to convert compulsory no-pay leave to full pay cuts by late 2020.

A new agreement was then reached in September 2020 that ended up with SIA pilots taking pay cuts of up to 50 per cent so that more of them could stay employed -- a new agreement that was in place until March 2022.

This was on top of the 10 per cent cut in the MVC.

Some 400 jobs were saved.

The MVC has been restored since August 2021.

Top photo via Singapore Airlines Facebook