Singapore Airlines has reopened cabin crew recruitment for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The airline has seen a surge in demand after Singapore’s government opened a series of so-called ‘vaccinated travel lanes’ for fully vaccinated travellers from other countries. Singapore is now easing restrictions imposed following the discovery of the Omicron variant.
The carrier was hard hit by Singapore’s tough pandemic restrictions as well as strict border policies in key markets like Australia and China. Singapore Airlines offered generous early retirement and release payouts in an effort to convince cabin crew to quit in late 2020 when it became apparent the pandemic was set to drag on.
The airline later cut 4,300 jobs and the cabin crew workforce was reduced by more than 25%. Singapore Airlines is now hoping to rehire some of the cabin crew who were made redundant at the height of the pandemic.
“SIA (Singapore Airlines) will continue to make necessary investments, both in our people and the business, to ensure that we are in a position to emerge stronger as international air travel recovers,” a spokesperson for the airline said, confirming the news.
The airline has reopened its online application portal for candidates based in Singapore. The airline normally hires crew from across the region but at the moment, the airline is only seeking Singapore-based candidates.
A spokesperson would not confirm how many crew the airline needed or how many new hires were required to make up for crew leaving the airline rather than for growth.
Singapore Airlines was the second carrier in the world to require all operating crew to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and under local health rules, SIA crew are banned from leaving their hotel rooms during international layovers.
The airline has asked the Singapore government to ease restrictions on pilots and cabin crew over fears that pandemic rules make the job unattractive and could leave Singapore Airlines short-staffed.
Some SIA crew have said they had considered quitting the job because of the toll that pandemic restrictions were having on their mental health.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.