SINGAPORE: When flight attendant Lin* heard the news that more than 4,000 positions were to be cut in the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group, her heart sank.
While she and her colleagues had been expecting the news for some time, with airlines struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it still came as a blow.
Last week, Singapore’s national carrier said that about 2,400 employees would be affected by job cuts, while another 1,900 positions are being eliminated by measures such as a recruitment freeze and early retirement schemes.
The SIA Group had more than 28,000 employees across three airlines and SIA Engineering as of Mar 31, according to its FY2019/2020 annual report. Of those, the bulk – more than 17,000 – were from Singapore Airlines.
Four days after the announcement, the layoffs began. Trainees and non-Singaporeans were among some of the first to be let go, interviewees told CNA.
Last year, Lin was flying nearly constantly with seven to 10 flights a month. This year, she has been called up for one flight a month since April. This means a large pay cut as the basic salaries for cabin crew are only a portion of their pay. On top