6,000 of Singapore Airlines staff have been on unpaid leaves since March 2020

It’s been a rough year for the travel and entertainment industry.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many airlines around the world have been significantly impacted.

The latest is Singapore Airlines (SIA) whose staff, a whopping 6,000 of them, have been on unpaid leave since March, 2020. That’s close to six months at the time of writing this piece.

Salary deductions and unpaid leaves.

Singapore is also entering its worst recession ever.

According to the Mothership.sg, the airline has taken several steps to mitigate the financial losses and among them include having around 22 percent of its staff to go on no-pay leave while the remaining face a 10 percent salary cut.

Senior executives such as managers received salary deductions of between 12 to 35 percent while the CEO saw the largest cut in the company: 35 percent.

The entire SIA board also agreed to accept a 30 percent cut in their fees as solidarity with the affected employees.

The company even initiated early retirement schemes for some of its senior employees.

In total, the SIA employs some 27,000 people and among those who were impacted include cabin crew, ground staff, and pilots who essentially form one third of SIA’s work force.

A SIA spokesperson spoke to Mothership.sg and revealed that the shortest duration of unpaid leave is seven days.

How is the company assisting those impacted?

Singapore Airlines passengers have a camera pointed at them
Tough times for airlines around the world.

The company is assisting those impacted through volunteering programs and secondary employment under SIA’s Ambassador Programmes and the company’s internal Employee Support Portal.

Among the opportunities that are available outside the company through these programs include volunteer positions at hospitals, social service offices, and transport stations.

Online mental, physical, and financial wellness programs are also available through SIA’s website.

Is the company able to brave the COVID-19 storm?

 
There are many other airlines which have been impacted too. Here’s a complete list.

SIA has begun taking stringent measures to reduce its expenses.

Among the measures include seeking ways with suppliers and partners to reduce costs and even reschedule payments.

A recruitment freeze has also been imposed since April 2020 while non-critical expenditure projects have been deferred.

SIA is not the only airlines in Southeast Asia which has been impacted by travel restrictions due to COVID-19. We have a list of the airlines that were impacted here.

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Cover image sourced from Better Aviation.