Exclusive interview with SIA CEO: What's next for Singapore's national carrier?

SIA to hire 2,000 cabin crew by March 2023; about 800 recruited so far

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is looking to recruit about 2,000 cabin crew as air travel continues to pick up pace.

More than 800 cabin crew members have already been hired since hiring started in March. About three in five of these were former crew members who had left the job.

The remaining new crew members are set to be hired by the end of the company's current financial year next March, SIA said.

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How SIA powered through an unprecedented crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic

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When The Straits Times caught up with SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong last week for an exclusive interview, he was looking a lot happier and more relaxed than he has been in nearly two years.

And why not?

The pandemic is receding. Travel demand is surging, and the company just posted its most improved results in over two years. And it is ramping up operations and recruiting staff again.

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Pilot, cabin crew and ground staff celebrate return to normality as air travel rebounds

After SIA announced a retrenchment exercise in September 2020 that involved about 2,000 staff, stewardess Evelyn Lee, 49, received calls from affected trainees and cabin crew members.

"I cried with them... it was really very sad and hard to see them go," said Ms Lee, who described those moments as the lowest points during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the bulk of SIA's flights still grounded then, the veteran of 30 years said she was worried about her job security too.

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SIA leadership succession plan in board's hands, says CEO Goh Choon Phong

There is a strong deep bench of talent within SIA, although any decision on leadership renewal will be up to the firm's board, said chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong.

"The important thing I would stress is that it has always been part of what I view as my responsibility to make sure that I groom the talents and prepare a strong deep bench for the company," he told The Straits Times.

"And the board then will be able to decide when and how to bring about the succession," added Mr Goh, 58, who has helmed SIA since January 2011.

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SIA to continue to grow cargo operation after pivoting to it during Covid-19 pandemic

SIA's cargo operations, which have been the bulwark delivering earnings when passenger demand collapsed during the Covid-19 crisis, remains strong and resilient, said chief executive Goh Choon Phong, in an interview with The Straits Times last week.

"The cargo story epitomises the the nimbleness of SIA," Mr Goh added.

"As supply chains tightened and demand increased, we converted passenger planes like the Boeing 777 and A320 into cargo carriers by removing seats for cargo space."

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