SINGAPORE: The number of people applying for cabin crew positions at Singapore Airlines (SIA) has gone up by three to four times, compared to levels before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in early 2020.
Responding to CNA queries, SIA said on Monday (May 30) that it aims to recruit around 2,000 cabin crew members this financial year, with more than 800 applicants selected so far since the airline restarted its recruitment drives in March.
About 60 per cent of those selected are returning crew, the airline added.
“The number of applications we have received (is) several thousand, which is three to four times more than pre-COVID days,” said SIA.
The airline also said that there are currently “no plans” to resume pilot recruitment.
Successful candidates are required to begin the job within three months from the date of application. SIA said it will review the circumstances for those who are unable to do so and may allow flexibility on the start date for some cases.
SIA put in place a hiring freeze on all ground positions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020, subsequently offering cabin crew early release or retirement.
SIA Group also announced in September that year it would cut thousands of positions across its then three airlines - SIA, SilkAir and Scoot - in light of the impact of the pandemic on the aviation industry.
SilkAir later ceased operations after merging with SIA in January 2021, a decision that had been made prior to the pandemic.
In its earnings statement earlier this month, SIA said that passenger capacity would reach 61 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter and 67 per cent in the second quarter of the financial year as travel demand continues to recover.
SIA also expects to serve more than 70 per cent of its pre-COVID destinations by the end of the second quarter.
The airline carried around 1.5 million passengers in April, a 13-fold increase from a year ago after Singapore removed its vaccinated travel lane arrangements at the start of last month.
The passenger load factor reached 73 per cent, the highest since the start of the pandemic. The forward booking momentum was also close to pre-COVID levels, SIA said then.
SIA reported a narrower annual loss of S$962 million for the year ended Mar 31, on the back of returning demand for international air travel as borders reopened in almost all key markets.