Singapore Airlines (SIA) CEO Goh Choon Phong

Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group reported a net loss of S$142 million in the third quarter of 2020 – compared with the prior year’s S$315 million profit – as border controls and travel restrictions continued to be in place in many countries amid new waves of the COVID-19 infection.

SIA Group said this in a statement on Thursday (4 Feb), adding that its passenger carriage shrank by 97.6 per cent as international air travel demand remained severely constrained in the quarter.

It also noted that its revenue fell by 76.1 per cent – from S$3,404 million to S$1,067 million – during the third quarter, as all three passenger airlines within the Group recorded a sharp drop in passenger flown revenue due to low traffic.

In line with Singapore’s progressive re-opening, the Group is expecting to see a measured expansion of the passenger network over the coming months.

“We will continue to monitor the status of travel restrictions and adjust our capacity accordingly to meet the traffic demand,” it added.

Over on social media, netizens were quick to call out SIA for its financial prudency during a time of crisis, particularly in regards to those in the higher-up earning hefty compensations.

One commenter asserted that these losses faced by the airline are just a scratch compared to “fat pay cheques” earned by shareholders and people in the higher management.

Many others lamented the lack of leadership in the Group, as they called out the Group’s CEO for profiting millions while the lower staff are retrenched.

SIA CEO received S$4.2m in remuneration despite company losing S$212m in previous FY ending 31 March 2020

Last year, it was disclosed in SIA’s annual report for FY19/20 that its chief executive officer (CEO), Goh Choon Phong, received a total of S$4,223,274 in remuneration for the financial year ending on 31 March.

Despite SIA Group reporting its first net loss of S$212 million in its 48-year history for the 12 months ending 31 Mar 2020, Mr Goh continues to receive bonuses of S$1,046,967 and shares valued S$1,643,940.

Meanwhile, in September last year, SIA Group announced its decision to lay-off 4,300 positions across its airlines – Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, and Scoot – as losses mounted.

Mr Goh blamed the pandemic over the massive retrenchment initiated by SIA, saying that “none of us could have predicted its devastating impact on the global aviation industry” and went on to say that his priority was “to ensure survival and save as many jobs as possible”.

“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,” he added.

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