SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong

Singapore Airlines (SIA) Chief Executive Officer, Goh Choon Phong announced yesterday (28 Feb) that the management of SIA will be taking a pay cut effective 1 March. Goh himself personally volunteered to take a 15 per cent pay cut.

Goh’s announcement came as Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat also announced in Parliament yesterday that the President, all Cabinet ministers – including PM Lee – and political office-holders will take a one-month pay cut in solidarity with Singaporeans coping with the coronavirus outbreak.

In a note to the SIA staff yesterday, Goh said, “My management team will take the lead with a salary cut effective 1 March 2020. I will take a 15 per cent cut in my salary, the executive vice-presidents will take a 12 per cent cut, and the senior vice-presidents 10 per cent.”

Divisional vice-presidents and vice-presidents will take a 7 per cent cut effective April 1, while senior managers and managers will see their salaries cut by 5 per cent from May 1.

“The SIA board of directors have also decided to take a 15 per cent cut in their fees effective 1 March 2020 to show solidarity with the management and all staff,” the note said.

A voluntary no-pay leave scheme will be offered to staff.

Some 3,000 or about 10 per cent of scheduled flights from this month to end-May have been suspended by the SIA group, including SilkAir and Scoot, due to fall in air travel demand.

“We will continue to be proactive in implementing measures to meet the evolving challenges. Tough decisions will be needed along the way. Management will take the lead, and all of us must be prepared to make sacrifices. Our priority is to save jobs,” Goh stressed.

Changi Airport recently has also reported that passenger movements fell by over 25 per cent during the first two weeks of February, while traffic between Singapore and China dropped by more than 85 per cent year on year.

SIA CEO earns total $5.5 million in last FY

According to SIA Annual Report FY2018/19, Goh earns $1.4 million in salary or about $116K a month. Including bonuses, shares and benefits, his total package amounted to some $5.5 million in the last FY.

His 2 Executive Vice Presidents, Mak Swee Wah and Ng Chin Hwee earn about $700-800K in salary. Their total package ranges from $2.5 to 2.75 million each.

It’s not known if SIA would be making losses this year, given that the coronavirus is much more infectious than SARS and would likely disrupt worldwide air travel much longer.

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