Airline workforce now over two-thirds of pre-pandemic level: Iswaran
SINGAPORE — The number of workers in the air transport sector is now between two-thirds and three-quarters of pre-pandemic levels, Transport Minister S. Iswaran said on Wednesday (March 30).
This figure is up from lows seen during the pandemic, with some companies in the sector facing attrition rates of up to 50%. The industry is now ramping up recruitment to welcome more travelers from Friday, April 1, when Singapore’s relaxed border rules come into effect.
Mr Iswaran, speaking during a visit to Changi Airport, said: ‘It’s a significant attrition that we’ve had, and that’s because it’s an inevitable consequence of the circumstances in which the aviation community was in because of the virus.
“But everyone in the aviation community is committed to making sure they prepare ahead of the request.”
He said companies were recruiting workers from Singapore, Malaysia and other countries. But he also warned that it takes time to train workers and to familiarize returning workers with new work processes.
The government announced last week that Singapore would allow all travelers fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the country without quarantine from Friday.
They will only need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test before flying to Singapore, and will no longer be subject to other requirements such as having to take designated flights.
Mr Iswaran said it was an important step to reopen the country’s borders. But he reiterated that border policies are likely to change depending on the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“So a lot of the work we’re doing right now is not just about increasing capacity and opening up, but also making sure we have the ability to pivot into a more conservative posture if the need arises.” , did he declare. noted.
“Even as we prepare, it’s important that we don’t let our guard down.”
Three million passengers passed through Changi Airport in 2021. This was only 4.4% of the 68 million passenger movements recorded in 2019, before the pandemic.
In the first two months of this year, 1.42 million passenger movements were recorded, 13% of the pre-pandemic level.
This month, 81 airlines operate more than 2,800 weekly flights to 116 cities in 46 countries and regions. By contrast, 91 airlines operated about 7,480 weekly flights in March 2019, connecting Changi to 164 cities in 48 countries and regions.
In a separate move, Changi Airport also removed restrictions imposed on people receiving passengers at the airport earlier this month. There are no more barricades in place to block the arrival hall.