Singapore Airlines is to reward its frontline employees with a bumper bonus worth up to eight months of basic pay, according to Singapore’s Business Times newspaper. The news broke a day after the airline posted a record annual profit of S$2.16 billion ($1.62 billion) on the back of robust post-pandemic travel demand.
According to the newspaper, staffers will receive a profit-sharing bonus equivalent to 6.65 months’ pay and an additional ex-gratia bonus worth up to 1.5 months’ basic salary in recognition of their hard work and sacrifices that were made during the pandemic.
Singapore Airlines said it had been able to take advantage of exceptional demand for air travel at short notice after the city-state lifted its strict pandemic restrictions in April 2022.
Alongside the budget Scoot brand, the carriers “were among the first to launch flights as borders reopened, and captured the pent-up demand as air travel returned,” the airline said in a statement on Wednesday.
A record-breaking profit was possible despite the fact that passenger capacity has so far only reached 79% of pre-pandemic levels – helped by the fact that airfares and yields remain high and that an average passenger load factor of 85.8% is the highest ever recorded in the group’s history.
A spokesperson for the airline confirmed that the bonus would be paid to frontline staff, but senior managers will be excluded.
The news comes less than a week after Emirates announced that the majority of its rank-and-file employees would receive up to six months’ worth of basic salary in a massive annual bonus after the Dubai-based airline posted its own record $2.9 billion profit for 2022-23.
Emirates is owned and controlled by the government of Dubai, while Singapore Airlines is majority owned by the Singaporean government. Both airlines were able to take advantage of significant support during the pandemic, which may have assisted in their recovery as travel demand returned.
Singapore Airlines says forward sales “remain healthy” across all cabin classes, which is currently being helped by a “strong pick up” in bookings to China, Japan, and South Korea.
The airline warned of economic uncertainties on the horizon and cautioned that it expected tougher competition as regional rivals added back capacity lost during the pandemic.
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.