Singapore to spend S$500 million in aid to aviation

Countries like Singapore are seeing an influx of travellers. (PHOTO: Shutterstock) Singaporean government has announced it will spend S$500 million (US$368 million) to help its aviation sector recover from the wounds inflicted during the COVID-19 pandemic that almost totally shut down international travel. “We will provide funding to the sector to ensure that it has the capabilities and capacity to capture the recovery, as well as transform itself to emerge stronger from the crisis,” the government’s Ministry of Transport said in a statement. The programme, called the OneAviation Resilience Package, will focus on manpower support, cost relief and support for public health safeguards, as well as industry and workforce transformation support.

Cost relief and support for public health safeguards received the highest allocation from the package with S$390 million. It will focus on extending rebates on fees and charges payable by aviation stakeholders at Changi Airport and Seletar Airport for six months in the first instance, according to the ministry. “We will also continue to defray the cost of implementing public health and safe management measures at the airport. This will enable safe air travel and protect our aviation workers and the wider community,” the ministry said. Manpower support gets S$60 million for the support package, where it be allotted to help companies boost core capabilities and improve their workforce.

Singapore Airlines hopes the government’s Vaccinated Travel Lanes will bring people back to flying. A lone student waits to say goodbye to a friend in a nearly deserted departure hall. (PHOTO: Matt Driskill)

Aviation companies will receive wage support thanks to the extension of the Aviation Workforce Retention Grant for six months, according to the ministry, which will cover 10 percent of the salaries paid to local employees from April to September 2022. This has a cap, however, of S$4,600 of gross monthly wages per employee. The component of industry and workforce transformation support has a S$50 million portion of the package, where it will help companies on their innovation and productivity, as well as their workforce transformation initiatives through the Aviation Development Fund.

Transport Minister S. Israwan said the OneAviation Resilience Package is an “affirmation of the government’s commitment and confidence in the long-term growth and success” the country’s aviation hub, underscoring its role in Singapore’s position as a global trading and business hub. It is critical that we continue to support companies and workers in the sector, so that we can emerge stronger, and reclaim Changi’s status as an international aviation hub,” the minister said in a statement.

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