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The Singapore Airlines Group said on Thursday (September 10) that it is potentially slashing around 4,300 jobs across its three airlines due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This decision was taken in light of the long road to recovery for the global airline industry due to the debilitating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the urgent need for the Group’s airlines to adapt to an uncertain future,” it said.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380, specifically A380-841 aircraft as seen on final approach landing at New York JFK, John F. Kennedy International Airport on 14 November 2019.(NurPhoto/Getty/Kyodo)  

It will be effected across the group’s three airlines — Singapore Airlines Ltd., SilkAir (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. and Scoot Tigerair Pte Ltd.

The actual number of local and overseas employees affected by the latest job cuts is about 2,400, as 1,900 positions had already been eliminated due to measures such as a recruitment freeze, natural attrition, and voluntary departure schemes.

The group’s airlines employed around 21,300 staff as of March.

“Relative to most other major airlines in the world, the SIA Group is in an even more vulnerable position. This is because we do not have a domestic market which, as demonstrated in many countries, is the first to see a recovery in air traffic,” chief executive Goh Choon Phong said.

The SIA Group is currently operating at only 8 percent of its capacity compared with pre-pandemic levels. It expects to operate at less than 50 percent of its capacity by the end of the financial year on March 31 next year, and with a smaller fleet and a reduced network in the coming years.

To ensure sufficient liquidity to meet its cash flow requirements since the pandemic, it has so far raised S$11 billion (US$8 billion) of equity and debt.

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