SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong

Last Thursday (26 Mar), Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced that it had secured up to S$19 billion of funding with the majority coming from Temasek Holdings, to help see it through the coronavirus crisis as demands for air travel dipped.

State-fund Temasek Holdings would be underwriting the sale of SIA shares and convertible bonds for up to S$15 billion. DBS would also be providing SIA with a bridging loan of S$4 billion until it gets the funds from the rights issue.

SIA has indicated that it is cutting 96 per cent of its scheduled capacity until the end of next month and grounding 138 out of 147 SIA and SilkAir aircraft. About 10,000 staff are said to be affected.

It was reported in the media last Friday that many air crew have been forced to turn to gig and part-time work as they see their salaries slashed by huge amount (‘Airline staff among the hardest hit by outbreak‘, 27 Mar).

Alan Tan, president of the Singapore Airlines Staff Union, told the media that at least 4,000 cabin crew members had applied for voluntary no-pay leave by this week. “The bulk of cabin crew salaries comes from their flight allowances. Without that, many are getting a basic monthly salary of about $1,300 to $1,500,” he revealed.

“The union has negotiated with the company to allow crew to seek part-time work outside the company for the time being. But they would need to seek approval first.”

A 27-year-old SIA flight attendant who declined to be named told reporters that he needs a part-time job to pay his rent. “I used to joke about working as a GrabFood delivery rider, now it seems like a possibility,” he lamented.

SIA CEO got $5.5 million in total last FY

Meanwhile, it was announced last month that SIA Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong said he would took a 15 per cent pay cut starting 1 March this month (‘SIA CEO announces 15% pay cut for himself; he earns $1.4m in salary with total package $5.5m last FY‘).

But with the announcement of Temasek bailing out SIA with a generous S$15 billion package, Goh now said he will take a 30 per cent pay cut starting from this Wed (1 Apr).

According to SIA Annual Report FY2018/19, while Goh earned $1.4 million in salary or about $116K a month, his total package amounted to some $5.5 million in the last FY after including bonuses, shares and benefits. Even with a salary cut of 30 per cent, his new salary will amount to close to $1 million, not including bonuses, shares and benefits.

In the meantime, it looks like the 27-year-old SIA flight attendant will soon be fulfilling his dream working as a GrabFood delivery rider.


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