It was reported earlier that Singapore Airlines (SIA) had incurred its first annual net loss in its 48-year history amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May this year, SIA reported a net loss of S$212 million for the 12 months ending 31 Mar 2020. In the 4th quarter alone (Jan – Mar 2020), it lost S$732 million. In part, its losses stemmed from the US$638 million in charges it took on failed oil hedges.
Due to the massive losses, SIA Group was also forced to retrench 4,300 of its employees in Sep.
SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong blamed the pandemic and said, “Having to let go of our valuable and dedicated people is the hardest and most agonizing decision that I have had to make in my 30 years with SIA. This is not a reflection of the strengths and capabilities of those who will be affected, but the result of an unprecedented global crisis that has engulfed the airline industry.”
Despite SIA losing S$212 million in the last financial year and 4,300 of its staff losing their jobs, the SIA’s latest annual report released last month revealed that Goh had received a total of S$4,223,274 in remuneration in the last financial year.
He continued to receive bonuses of S$1,046,967 and shares valued S$1,643,940 despite the massive losses incurred by the airline (‘SIA CEO receives $4.2m in remuneration despite company losing $212m in last FY‘, 27 Oct).
Online, many netizens were critical of SIA CEO continuing to draw high salary while the company is suffering and his staff were retrenched:
Overwhelming “Strong support” for SIA
Still, despite the online negativity with regard to the high remuneration received by SIA CEO Goh, many others came out to “strongly support” SIA.
It was reported by the Straits Times today that there was an overwhelming demand for SIA Training Centre tours resulting in early closure of its tour bookings (‘Overwhelming demand for SIA Training Centre tours, bookings closed in 9 hours‘, 2 Nov).
SIA said that demand for its training centre tours has been “overwhelming” after bookings opened at 10am yesterday (1 Nov). By yesterday’s evening, more than 6,800 bookings had been received and SIA was forced to close its registrations at 7pm, SIA said.
Those who have secured a slot for the tours will be able to tour the training facility in Upper Changi on one of four days over the last two weekends of November.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, SIA flights have been drastically reduced. The company was forced to find alternative revenue sources, including offering dining services on stationary planes parking at the airport and delivering first or business-class meals to customers’ homes.
SIA said yesterday that its training centre tours have also been enthusiastically oversubscribed. The tours have add-ons, including flight simulator experience, wine tasting sessions, grooming workshops on how to get the Singapore Girl look, and experiences for children to learn what it is like to be a pilot or a cabin crew member.
The tours cost $15 for children and $30 for adults. The add-ons range from $38 per person for the wine tasting session to $500 for a flight simulator experience.
SIA said, “SIA is grateful for the extremely strong support from our customers, and we look forward to welcoming them to the Inside Singapore Airlines experience.”