Singapore Airlines has announced the resuming of cabin crew recruitment this week in what will surely be seen as another sign of a slow yet steady recovery within the industry.

Whilst easing travel restrictions across the western world have allowed for a more swift recovery, the Asia-Pacific has trailed behind after countries have shown a continued reluctance to rush.

No airline immune

The airline, consistently ranked amongst the best globally, has itself demonstrated that even the most popular and confident carriers are far from immune from the effects of the pandemic. In September 2020, they were forced to cut over 4,000 jobs, around 20% of its workforce and in an effort to firm up its operations and cover expenses, the airline has raised around $16 billion since April 2020

The announcement, first reported on Channel News Asia on Saturday, will bring to an end a two-year hiring freeze by the airline after the pandemic wreaked havoc across the industry.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350
Singapore Airlines say most pilots have now returned to work | © Andrea Ongaro / Travel Radar

In a statement, Singapore Airlines advised that most of their pilots have now returned to active duty and that the airline plans to increase capacity gradually and “in a calibrated manner” as demand recovers.

Lingering concerns for travellers

Singapore has in recent weeks opened dozens of travel corridors with other countries but crucially still requires overseas travellers to partake in daily coronavirus testing for almost a week during their stay. Attendees for this week’s Singapore Air Show will also be required to undertake daily testing as a condition of entry.

An additional concern for travellers is the risk of returning a positive result, being forced to pay for a quarantined hotel and subsequently wasting their entire trip.

The move shows the airline is banking on a reasonably quick recovery, but will the Western trend of the gradual lifting of restrictions follow suit in the region, and will it be enough to relieve local travellers’ lingering concerns?

Does the airline’s move mark the recovery of the industry in Asia? Let us know what you think in the comments below?

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