Singapore Airlines (SIA) is releasing 206 trainees who were being trained to become cabin crew. The trainees were informed of the decision this afternoon.
The move was taken reluctantly but became necessary with the global downturn in air travel caused by the war in Iraq and concerns over the outbreak of SARS in East Asia, apart from the continuing weakness in the global economy.
SIA has suspended 199 frequencies in recent weeks due to the downturn. This has contributed to a projected surplus of cabin crew in the immediate future. SIA has also frozen recruitment in response to the downturn.
Said SIA Senior Vice president (Cabin Crew), Mr Sim Kay Wee: “We have looked at alternative means of absorbing these trainees into our workforce but at the moment this is simply not possible. The global travel downturn has impacted on our schedules and our staffing needs and, unfortunately, we have had to act now because it would have been inappropriate to continue the training. These trainees will be given priority when we resume training”.
The 206 trainees were grouped in 12 batches. They were due to complete their training between May and August and had not started flying.
The released trainees will receive a financial package as part of their release. Cabin crew trainees from outside Singapore will receive financial assistance to help them meet the cost of returning home.