Singapore Airlines cuts all rank-and-file staff’s pay by 10 per cent

Singapore Airlines is exploring ways to increase liquidity and reduce capital expenditure and operating costs amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. PHOTO: REUTERS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SINGAPORE, Jul 30, 2020, BT. Singapore Airlines (SIA) has implemented more measures to slash costs, including bigger pay cuts for the bosses, a 10 per cent salary reduction for other employees, and early retirement for pilots and ground staff, The Business Times understands.

Given the first-quarter operating loss for the flag carrier and its regional full-service arm SilkAir, the full quantum of the monthly variable component of salaries will be cut with effect from Aug 1, in accordance with the group’s collective agreements with its unions.

This amounts to 10 per cent of the basic salary for all staff below the level of manager, said chief executive officer (CEO) Goh Choon Phong in a memo to staff this week.

Meanwhile, all staff at the rank of manager and above will get increased cuts on their basic salaries starting Aug 1.

Managers and senior managers will see a 12 per cent reduction, up from 10 per cent previously. Vice-presidents (VPs) and divisional VPs will see a 15 per cent cut, up from 12 per cent. Senior VPs will take a 25 per cent decrease, up from 20 per cent previously, while executive VPs will take a 30 per cent cut, up from 25 per cent.

The CEO’s salary will be slashed by 35 per cent, up from 30 per cent.

The company will also offer a Covid-19 special early retirement scheme for all ground staff and pilots next week.

This scheme will be available to those aged 50 and above, with at least 15 years of service, and up to the level of divisional VP.

Applications for early retirement will be subject to approval based on organisational and operational requirements. The human resources will provide more details “shortly”, Mr Goh wrote.

Additional staff measures are also coming, given the slower growth trajectory and depressed market conditions. Mr Goh said SIA will be engaging its staff unions on this matter and will announce the measures when they have been firmed up.

He reiterated that the airline group needs to be prepared for “a long and hard Covid-19 induced winter”.

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