Singapore Airlines (SIA) has started to actively reach out to more nationalities for its cadet pilot recruitment to meet future needs. While the airline usually hired pilots who are either Singapore citizens or permanent residents in the past, recent online recruitment advertisements for cadet pilots stated all nationalities are welcome to apply.

With a current pool of about 2,000 cockpit crew who are either Singaporeans or permanent residents, this is believed to be the first time that the national carrier has publicly cast its net wide for cockpit crew, as reported in The Straits Times.

SIA vice president public affairs, Nicholas Ionides stated: “We continue to recruit mainly Singaporeans. Over 80% of our pilots are Singaporeans.”

"As an international airline, we do have employees of various nationalities, including pilots who must meet our stringent requirements. This policy has not changed,” he added.

Foreigners are employed on local terms, which means they do not get expatriate packages that include, among other perks, housing allowances. According to Ionides, recruitment is open all year round and preliminary interview rounds are typically held around twice a month.

According to the report, current plans to hire more pilots came after a prolonged business slowdown which saw SIA shed about 12% of its pilots in the five years from March 2011; with last year seeing the airline hiring around 100 cadet pilots.

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