Singapore Airlines will be reducing the salaries of senior management by 10 to 15 percent starting from March 1, and employees can take a voluntary no-pay leave. This is a response to the coronavirus outbreak to which the airline industry is the most at risk.
The board of directors will be taking a 15 percent reduction in their fees, according to regional media reports. Goh Choon Phong, the Chief Executive, Singapore Airlines, will also be taking a 15 percent pay cut. The executive vice presidents will be taking a 12 percent cut while the senior vice president level employees will take a 10 percent cut, according to the Business Times.
These pay cuts will extend into April as well where divisional VPs and VPs will be asked to take a seven percent pay cut. At the same time, senior managers and managers will take a five percent cut from May 1.
The airline group has extended a scheme of voluntary no-pay to their staff across regional wings such as SilkAir and budget carrier Scoot. Employees can opt to take no-pay leave of anywhere between one week and six months in 2020. The group has assured that the employees would have their jobs when they returned and will also get medical benefits while on the no-pay leave scheme.
As the demand for travel has fallen drastically, the SIA group has removed 9.1 percent capacity from its group-wide network from February to May, thus canceling about thousands of flights.
“Covid-19 has spread faster outside China with a large number of cases reported in South Korea, Iran, and Italy,” said Goh. “There are growing concerns across other parts of the world, including our major markets in Europe and the United States.”
The world over airlines have been forced to cancel flights and reduce their capacity due to a slump in tourism and changes in corporate travel plans. About $27.8 Bn can be lost in revenue by the Asia-Pacific carriers as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the International Air Transport Association.
As far as Singapore Airlines is concerned, the management has said that the priority is to save jobs and will thus continue to monitor the situation closely, and drive strategies to combat the evolving situation at the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak.