Car­rier moves to ad­dress ‘tem­po­rary crew sur­plus sit­u­a­tion’

New Straits Times - - Business -

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.

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