New perks boost SIA crew's take-home pay

SIA cabin crew who stay for more than two years will get a higher flying allowance.
SIA cabin crew who stay for more than two years will get a higher flying allowance. PHOTO: EPA

Singapore Airlines (SIA) cabin crew who stay for more than two years will get a higher flying allowance, as part of a major revamp of duty perks.

The slew of changes, which should translate into a 2 per cent to 4 per cent increase in take-home pay, comes as the airline ramps up recruitment to support expansion plans, after a prolonged slowdown.

SIA now has about 8,000 cabin crew. It is looking to hire 800 to 1,000 cabin crew a year over the next few years.

With the changes that took effect in March, junior crew will see their flying allowance increase from $9.50 an hour to $12.80 after two years of service, The Straits Times found out. Previously, the allowance was increased only when they got promoted - usually after six years. Junior cabin crew typically earn about $4,000 a month after including allowances.

For senior crew - stewardesses in green, red and purple kebayas and stewards in matching ties - the allowance has been increased by about $4 an hour.

  • Revised allowances

  • •For junior cabin crew (blue kebayas and ties), the flying allowance will increase from $9.50 an hour to $12.80 after two years. Before the change, there was no increase unless they were promoted.

    •For senior crew, the allowance has been increased by about $4 an hour to $15 for those in green kebayas and ties, $17.50 for those in red and $22 for those in purple.

    •Turnaround allowance for flights with no overnight stops is now $90 a flight for all cabin crew, up from $70.

    •No more overnight and in-flight meal allowances.

With the higher payouts, cabin crew are no longer given separate allowances for in-flight meals and overnight stops. But those who do turnaround flights will be paid $90 for each flight, instead of $70.

SIA spokesman Nicholas Ionides, who confirmed the changes, said the new package is fairer as it is pegged to the actual number of hours flown. Before, cabin crew on longer flights with overnight stops made more than those who did mainly regional flights.

He said: "New entrant cabin crew can look forward to a higher salary package after two years, as there will be a step-up flying allowance. They can also look forward to promotional opportunities with higher-tier salary packages."

On whether the airline faces challenges attracting and retaining staff, he said: "The allure of flying and our strong brand continue to attract candidates for the job."

Efforts to reduce attrition include continual staff engagement through a variety of channels, including management interaction sessions and investment in training and development, Mr Ionides said.

BETTER PROSPECTS

New entrant cabin crew can look forward to a higher salary package after two years, as there will be a step-up flying allowance. They can also look forward to promotional opportunities with higher-tier salary packages.

SIA SPOKESMAN NICHOLAS IONIDES

Cabin crew typically stay for about two years, The Straits Times understands.

Singapore Airlines Staff Union president Alan Tan said that the recent changes, combined with earlier initiatives, should encourage more crew to stay longer.

Earlier this year, SIA reached an agreement with the union to extend flying years, based on merit.

The maximum extension is three years for all ranks of cabin crew. Before the change, junior stewardesses in blue kebayas, for example, could do a maximum of only four five-year terms, or 20 years in all.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2016, with the headline 'New perks boost SIA crew's take-home pay'. Print Edition | Subscribe