Cost-cutting Singapore Airlines offers unpaid leave to crew

By Bloomberg News, August 6 2017
Cost-cutting Singapore Airlines offers unpaid leave to crew

Singapore Airlines is offering three months of voluntary unpaid leave to cabin crew as it seeks to cut costs amid rising competition in the region.

The carrier is asking some of its flight attendants to take the leave from September, it said in an emailed response to questions Friday. The airline had 8,356 cabin crew at the end of March, according to its annual report.

“Having temporary surpluses or deficits of cabin crew is not unusual due to the nature of our business,” a Singapore Airlines spokesman said. “This voluntary scheme over a specific period of time is to ensure that we efficiently manage crew resources and operational requirements. The intention is to offer it from time to time going forward.”

Singapore Airlines is in the midst of a review of its business amid intensifying competition from Middle East airlines and budget carriers, with Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong saying in June that it may include headcount reduction. The carrier returned to profit last quarter after posting its first loss since 2014 in the first three months of the year.

The Singaporean carrier isn’t the only airline that’s trying to reduce staff costs. Emirates is letting go of dozens of employees, including senior cabin crew and support department workforce, as the Gulf carrier continues a push to streamline after years of rapid growth, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. Cathay Pacific said in May that it would eliminate 600 jobs in Hong Kong as part of the biggest business revamp in two decades as it slipped into a loss for the first time in eight years.

24 Jan 2017

Total posts 7

No surprise here. Their financial losses were expected too. They dropped the ball about a year ago. They should officially transfer to a budget airline and it may keep them afloat as long as they offer budget fares.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 372

What part of the business are you suggesting they transfer to a low cost airline?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 445

Ummm, what?  I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that Singapore Airlines will never lower themselves to the standards of United Airlines and British Airways.

HonestJohn Banned
HonestJohn Banned

10 Jul 2017

Total posts 2

Your analysis is severely off the mark, Mike. Singapore didn't drop the ball, moreso that they are caught in a wedge by the ME3 carriers.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Mar 2016

Total posts 41

As for Singapore Airlines and budget airlines were concerned, the merger of Scoot and Tiger Airways into a single entity under Scoot branding was completed at the end of last month. This was because of confusion spread across the 4 airline brands for the company. It will remain to be seen if SilkAir remains as it is, rebranded (like DragonAir was changed to Cathay Dragon),  is changed remarkably or will be merged into Singapore Airlines. 

BA may have been heavily cost-cutting, but they are one of the most profitable airlines in the world right now. EK, EY, SQ, CX and all the luxury, premium airlines are really struggling. Suggests BA are doing something right, as unpopular as it may be. 

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