SINGAPORE AIRLINES OFFERS NO-PAY LEAVE
Carrier moves to address ‘temporary crew surplus situation’
SINGAPORE Airlines is asking its cabin crew to go on voluntary no-pay leave (VNPL) for a period of three months starting next month to address a “temporary crew surplus situation”.
While the scheme was last rolled out during the global financial crisis in 2009, the flag carrier intends to offer it “from time to time, going forward” to enable the airline to be “more flexible and nimble in managing crew resources”, said Singapore Airlines’s spokesperson.
The airline has about 14,800 employees, of which 8,200 are cabin crew.
SIA Group, including SIA Engineering, SilkAir, SIA Cargo, Scoot and other subsidiaries, employ about 25,800 people.
The airline said the nature of its business was such that it might encounter short-term periods of manpower surplus or deficits at specific ranks as its network expanded and contracted, depending on peak or lean travel seasons.
“The division will need to exercise flexibility and nimbleness to better manage crew resources. VNPL and the leave buy-back scheme are measures that the division will take from time to time to achieve this objective,” said SIA in a notice to its cabin crew announcing the introduction of the VNPL scheme.
The notice explained that given the temporary crew surplus situation, the cabin crew division would be introducing the VNPL option for chief steward/stewardess (CS/CSS) and flight steward/stewardess ranks (FS/FSS), so as to better manage crew resources and operational requirements.
The airline spokesperson said the initiative was specific to the cabin crew division and no such scheme was available to employees at the other departments, and stressed that the scheme was entirely voluntary.
The airline’s move to making operations a lot more flexible appears to be aimed at managing costs better.
“Singapore Airline’s new approach of flexing capacity up and down to match demand should deliver more sustainable profits, but does also mean some uncertainty for staff that may be asked to take short-term unpaid leave,” said Ellis Taylor, Asia finance editor at FlightGlobal. Today Online
Singapore Airlines has about 14,800 employees, of which 8,200 are cabin crew.