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Singapore Airlines CEO Signals Possible Job Cuts in the Upcoming Review

June 8, 2017

Singapore Airlines which reported its first quarterly loss in five years, has signalled possibility of some job cuts in its upcoming business review.

Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines was quoted by the Singapore Business Times saying that some jobs may become irrelevant, while some workers may need new skills for different tasks. However, Goh denied from providing numbers right now saying it’s too early.

According to the above news report, Singapore Airlines has already started their review to cover its fleet and network some six months ago, but it needs external advisers for help to undertake the review. Goh was speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the AGM of the International Air Transport Association in Cancun, Mexico.

The group, including affiliates and units, employed an average 24,350 workers at the end of March 2016, Bloomberg reports. The Asia’s premium carrier is said to be under pressure to reduce costs and revamp its business operations amid intense competition from Middle-eastern rivals and regional discount carriers.

See: Cathay Pacific’s Biggest Revamp in Two Decades to Affect 600 Jobs

In another revamp to be witnessed by the Airline industry in Asia, Cathay Pacific recently announced 600 job cuts and one of the airlines biggest revamp in two decades, having been at the brunt of losses. Dealing with profitability concerns, the airline industry is now facing challenging turbulent weathers with passenger and cargo yields.

Singapore Airlines earlier announced in May to set up a dedicated transformation office to conduct a “wide-ranging review” to better position the group for long-term, sustainable growth.

Reflecting on the overhaul, IATA chief economist Brian Pearce was quoted by SCMP “big challenges” remained among competition from budget airlines and on long haul routes. However, reduced competition from the Middle East carriers as they trim expansion was benefiting the region.

Singapore Airlines recorded a net profit of S$360.4 million (HK$2 billion), down by more than 50 percent on the previous year, but more tellingly it surprised investors with a loss of S$138.3 million (HK$780 million) in the fourth quarter of last year. Meanwhile Cathay Pacific recorded a loss of HK$575 million last year.

Also read: En Route to Transformation into a Digital Airline: Exclusive Q&A with Faz Kamaruddin at AirAsia

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