Singapore Airlines to Cut 17% of Fleet
SINGAPORE ~ Singapore Airlines is to cut 17 percent of its fleet over the coming year due to the global economic downturn that has hit travel and cargo demand, the company announced this week.
The airline, one of Asia’s major carriers, said it would decommission 17 aircraft over the financial year from April 2009 to March 2010, instead of just four as originally planned before the global downturn hit major markets.
A spokesman said Singapore Airlines had 102 passenger aircraft in its fleet as of February 1.
“The drop in air transportation has been sharp and swift,” chief executive Chew Choon Seng said.
“Given the falls of over 20 percent that we have seen recently in air cargo shipments and the tradition of demand for air travel following closely behind trends on the cargo side of business, we have to face the reality that 2009 is going to be a very difficult year.”
Chew said layoffs would be only a last resort, but the airline management had met with its labor unions about plans for mitigating the impact of the downturn, including voluntary unpaid leave, early retirement and shorter work months.Filed under: Travel & Culture