SIA up in the air

SINGAPORE Airline’s (SIA) cargo may be up, but an ongoing pilot dispute is dragging it down.

SIA Cargo recorded a four per cent boost in September against the year before, registering 99,600 metric tonnes. Cargo load factor was 63.7 per cent, up 0.2 per cent. Noticeable regions were Europe, up 5.2 per cent; east Asia, down three per cent; and the Americas up 1.5 per cent.

On 19 October SIA and its pilots settled a long-standing dispute over the annual service increment. Now however SIA and SilkAir pilots are asking for their flying allowance to be paid based on the actual number of duty hours.

Under the current system, they are paid an hourly rate for the period from flight departure to arrival.

The Air Line Pilots Association (Singapore) (Alpa-S) is proposing that the flying allowance be calculated from the time a pilot reports to the flight operations centre until he ends his shift. This will take into account weather-related delays or other reasons. To make it cost-neutral for the airline, the pilots are prepared to accept a lower rate, sources said.

Negotiations are ongoing between the two carriers and their respective union branches.

Alpa-S represents over 90 per cent of the SIA Group’s pool of more than 2,000 pilots, including those from SilkAir and SIA Cargo.

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