Singapore’s arbitration court has ruled that Singapore Airlines (SIA) pilots flying the ultra-large Airbus A380 will earn more then those operating Boeing 747-400s and other widebodies.

The Industrial Arbitration Court of Singapore has ruled that SIA captains operating the A380 will earn S$700 ($458) per month more than captains on the 747-400 and first officers will earn S$450 more than a 747-400 first officer, says the Air Line Pilots Association-Singapore (ALPA-S), which describes the ruling as “a good outcome”.

It says the base pay of a 747-400 captain is S$10,000 a month so an A380 captain will earn S$10,700.

The court’s ruling falls short of what the union had been demanding but still falls on the side of what the union wanted as opposed to what the airline had been seeking.

ALPA-S had asked that A380 captains get a base pay of S$11,000 a month and first officers $10,660, while the airline was asking that an A380 captain and first officer earn less than a 747-400 pilot and first officer respectively and instead have their salaries about the same as a Boeing 777 captain and first officer respectively.

This was part of a broader push by the airline to end the disparity between what pilots on different widebody types earn so that in future it would be easier to get pilots to switch to other aircraft types.

Currently it is difficult, for example, for the airline to get 747-400 pilots to switch to 777s because the base pay is lower.

The matter went to the arbitration court because the two sides were unable to negotiate an agreement.

SIA has 19 A380s on order and its first is due to be delivered in October, making it the first airline in the world to operate the ultra-large aircraft. The airline says the court’s ruling “gives us some certainty” and “ends the issue” over A380 pilot wages “as far as we and the pilots’ union are concerned”.


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