Singapore Airlines introduces more cost-cutting measures

A new scheme offers cabin crew members the option of early release or retirement as the airline continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
By: | August 13, 2020

Over a week after announcing a 10% pay cut for all staff, Singapore Airlines (SIA) has introduced a COVID-19 Voluntary Release Scheme (VRS), which provides cabin crew members the option of early release or retirement.

According to SIA, the scheme was introduced in light of the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a “slower projected trajectory recovery for international air travel.”

Cabin crew members from both SIA and SilkAir, including those on probation, have until August 31 to apply for the scheme, which is not applicable to trainee crew members.

Cabin crew members will receive varying benefits depending on their employment status and contract. Those still serving their bonds as of August 1 will have any outstanding bond repayment waived should their application to leave early be approved.

They will also have any outstanding settling-in loans waived and be accorded notice pay-in-lieu based on their basic salary at the point of departure. Those still on probation will receive one month’s basic salary while confirmed crew members will receive three months’ pay.

Cabin crew members serving the last year of their current contract will be able to receive pro-rated gratuity without having to complete their current contract. The gratuity amount ranges between S$4,000 and S$20,000, depending on their rank and how many contracts they have had with SIA.

READ: Singapore Airlines cuts pay for all staff by at least 10%

With international air travel at a standstill due to the pandemic, the SIA Group announced a net loss of S$1.12 billion for the first quarter ended June 30.

More than 6,000 staff members have since been placed on no-pay leave, while a pay cut for all staff of at least 10% has also been introduced as overall passenger carriage plunged 99.5% across the SIA Group’s various airlines.