Singapore Airlines and SilkAir pilots to take unpaid leave

Published on : Thursday, March 26, 2020

Singapore Airlines recently asked its pilots to take unpaid leave for up to seven days each month. The leave session is set to begin from April 1st 2020. The decision has been undertaken in light of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the airline industry.



The new rule is applicable to pilots working for the mainline carrier, Singapore Airlines as well as the regional carrier SilkAir. The action would continue to be functional until the situation gets better and the business recovers.



Singapore Airlines said in a recent press statement that the carrier has also reached agreements with their unions for a set of cost-cutting measures. These would include voluntary unpaid leave for all staff. Even the division that includes vice-presidents would fall under the measure. There will also be varying days of compulsory unpaid leave ranging between one and seven days every month for pilots, executives, and associates. In addition, many staff would also undergo a lay-off on re-employment contracts. These measures will impact about 10,000 staff.



According to reports, captains might have to take seven days of unpaid leave per month. First officers and second officers will have to take five days and four days, respectively. Pilots older than 62 and on re-employment contracts will be placed on furlough for at least six months.



Kenneth Lai, President, Air Line Pilots Association Singapore (Alpa-S) said in a recent press statement that the latest measures, along with steep capacity cuts, will cut salaries of captains’ by 55% approximately on average. First officers and second officers will witness reductions of up to 50% and 15%, respectively. These are computed against the pilots’ total monthly package. It would comprise their basic salary and a variable component.



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