Singapore News and Views

SIA to Stop Rehiring Captains After 62

News: This Yahoo report says that Singapore Airlines will cease to rehire captains after they reach the retirement age of 62. The current practice was to rehire them for a further two years. It has been forced to take this decision because it is now saddled with surplus staff, particularly that of pilots.

My Take: There is no need to read too much into it. SIA should be allowed to take decisions that are in their interest, particularly because they are in an industry where flight safety is paramount. If it can use all cost savings to ensure safe, pleasant travels that will be welcome.

In my experience, it is the world’s best airline. Lower fuel costs are already good for their bottomline. They can strive to make it even better.

Moreover, those turning 62 may look forward to a life on the ground with family and friends and indulge in things they savour. This is after all a time when people in their 40s are losing their jobs with little hope of getting back to the workforce. Raising the retirement age to 67 does not make any sense at all when staff can be fired at will for greater profitability.

Singapore Dollar Edges Up

News: The forex market suffered a jolt on Thursday (Jan. 15) when Switzerland decided to abandon the Franc rate cap against the Euro. That sent the Swiss Franc soaring by as high as 30%, with most other currencies, including the Singapore dollar, registering marginal gains on Friday (Jan. 16).

My Take: Artificial measures are not sustainable and market dynamics will have to determine currency rates. The FX market is always unpredictable and greater volatility is to be expected. All regional currencies have already taken a battering as a result of the strengthening US dollar.

Don’t expect the Singapore dollar to register any dramatic rise. Rising interest rates that can go even higher after the US Fed starts to push it up, slow economic growth and fund outflows are factors that could keep  the currency from climbing.

G Joslin Vethakumar


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