With more than 100 aerospace companies maintaining a presence there, Singapore offers a wide range of potential job opportunities, across all aerospace sectors and most major global companies.

Regular winner of many "Best Airport" awards, including from Business Traveller magazine for the 16th year running, Singapore's Changi Airport is served by more than 60 airlines and provides more than 3,000 weekly scheduled flights to 151 cities worldwide. It is also beginning to see passenger traffic recover from the SARS downturn, showing a 136.7% increase in May 2004 compared with the same month last year.

State-owned Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines (SIA), one of the world's 10 largest passenger airlines, is the main player in the airline market and has also recovered effectively from SARS, carrying nearly double the number of passengers in May 2004 compared with the previous year.

A 1.5% cut in its workforce of around 30,000 halfway through 2003 has been followed by the announcement of a large-scale fleet modernisation and growth plan that will involve around 50 new aircraft, beginning in 2006, and the expansion of the company's pilot training centre in Perth. The government has recently advocated a restructuring of SIA that would see it concentrating on its core airline activities and possibly selling subsidiaries such as Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS).

A potential glut of low-costairlines are launching in the Singapore market over the next few months, which will result in the construction of a dedicated no-frills terminal at Changi, scheduled for opening in 2006.

Privately-owned Valuair, which operates two Airbus A320s, launched services to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Jakarta in the last three months, after a number of regulatory delays; national carrier Singapore Airlines is the major shareholder in Tiger Airways, which plans to launch this year; and Qantas is working to finalise a deal whereby it will invest around $30m into owning half of another new, still to be named, low-cost carrier.

It remains to be seen whether demand for low-cost travel will support the new airlines, but the existing carrier that seems most under threat from them is SilkAir, SIA's regional arm.

The maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and manufacturing industries are also well represented in Singapore, with major foreign firms such as Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Messier Services, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce, as well as home-grown ST Aerospace, based there.

Singapore is also at the forefront of new technologies and the latest aircraft. Changi Airport will introduce biometric screening devices early next year, while SIA will be the first airline in the world to put the Airbus A380 into service.


South-East Asia. It is between Indonesia and Malaysia.


Around 4.6 million.


Mandarin Chinese, Malay, Tamil and English are the four official languages. English is the main language of communication.

Major cities:

Singapore: the country is a city state.


Hot, humid and rainy, with two monsoon seasons, from December to March and June to September.


Singapore dollar. US$1 = approx S$1.7.

Cost of living:

Singapore is the 32nd most expensive city in the world, according to Mercer's Cost of Living Survey 2003. Approximate sample prices: 200g pack of coffee: S$7; six-pack of beer: S$19.


There is no minimum wage in Singapore. Many companies work a five-and-a-half day week, with 8h days. Singapore's income tax rates are among the lowest in the world, ranging from 2-28%.

What you need to work there:

An employment pass, obtained from the Ministry of Manpower. Sponsorship from an employer is required and a pass should be received within two weeks of application. It is normally issued for an initial two years, renewable for a further three.

Source: Flight International