Monday, October 22, 2012

SIA freezes hiring of cadet pilots amid business slowdown

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has frozen cadet-pilot recruitment and cut flying hours for junior pilots amid a business slowdown that has led to a manpower surplus.

The last cadet intake was early this year and it has not been decided when hiring will resume, SIA spokesman Nicholas Ionides told The Straits Times. He did not say how many were recruited during the last exercise, but noted that it was a smaller number than in previous years. The usual is about 120 a year.

SIA, which has about 2,400 pilots, last suspended hiring of cadet pilots in 2009 following the global financial crisis. The current slowdown, which caused full-year profits for the 12 months to end-March to dive 69 per cent to $336 million, is also affecting those already flying.

 Many junior pilots, especially those on the Boeing 777 fleet, have had their average flying time cut from more than 60 hours a month to less than 50, The Straits Times has learnt.

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