No effort will be spared to ensure that Singapore Airlines and the aviation sector will see through the current crisis, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.
"The Singapore Airlines (SIA) group has been severely hit. As our national carrier, SIA has supported our efforts to fight Covid-19," said Mr Lee in his May Day message.
"They help to fly in essential supplies. They have mounted evacuation flights to bring Singaporeans home. Their cabin crew are serving as care ambassadors in hospitals, and safe distancing ambassadors in trains, markets and malls," he said, outlining what SIA and its staff are doing to combat the coronavirus.
"But like most other airlines, most SQ flights will remain grounded for some time. SIA management have taken pay cuts. The unions and the workers have accepted sacrifices too," he added.
"All in SIA understand that the airline is facing its biggest crisis ever. They are all doing their part to help the company survive."
PM Lee noted that tourism and aviation will take much longer to recover than other sectors, because international travel will remain restricted as long as Covid-19 is still a problem around the world.
Air transport, he added, is fundamental to Singapore's role as a global and regional hub.
"It is a strategic sector. This is why the Government is providing extra support for aviation," he said.
Last Friday, SIA announced that it will extend its flight cancellations to the end of next month amid travel restrictions around the globe. At present, SIA has passenger flights to just 15 destinations, compared with over 130 normally.
"The Government is determined that SIA will see through this crisis," said PM Lee.
"SIA has always flown Singapore's flag high all over the world, and made us proud. We will spare no effort to enable it to do so again."