Singapore carrier hopes arbitration will end dispute

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and its pilots are involved in a dispute over pay and benefits for cockpit crew operating its future fleet of Airbus A380s.

SIA says it wants to resolve the dispute through arbitration. Although it does not provide details of the pilots’ claims, a local media report says the carrier’s future A380 pilots are unhappy partly because SIA is offering pay rates below those of Boeing 747-400 pilots.

“The company is seeking to have some differences with ALPA-S [Air Line Pilots Association-Singapore] over proposed pay scales for A380 pilots adjudicated. We hope that the outstanding issues can be resolved quickly,” says the airline.

A380 singapore 
© Airbus / H Gousse   
SIA's pilots want A380/747 pay equality

“As is always the case when we use these sort of dispute resolution processes, we don’t intend to negotiate the differences in public. To date, our discussions with ALPA-S have been constructive and have resolved some of the issues, but there are areas where we don’t yet have common ground.”

SIA has 19 A380s on firm order and is to be the first operator of the new ultra-large aircraft. Its first aircraft is due for delivery in the coming months, although Airbus is facing new production delays and a precise delivery time remains unclear. Deliveries were originally to have begun earlier this year.

Last year SIA and ALPA-S signed a new three-year collective agreement under which pilots’ salaries became more closely linked to SIA’s financial performance. The agreement, which also gives pilots more holiday, came after lengthy negotiations, during which the government put pressure on aircrew to accept wage concessions.

Source: Flight International