Pratt & Whitney Lays Off 400 Employees In Singapore Units

Credit: Pratt & Whitney

SINGAPORE—Pratt & Whitney will retrench around 400 jobs—or 20%—of its 2,000 employees in Singapore as demand for engine-related MRO has disappeared amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The layoffs will affect most of Pratt’s seven units in the country with the job losses coming at Component Aerospace Singapore, Eagle Services Asia, Pratt & Whitney Component Solutions, P&W NGPF Manufacturing Company Singapore and Turbine Overhaul Services. 

Pratt said management arrived at the decision after implementing other cost-containment measures including temporary salary reductions, shorter work weeks, cancellation of merit increases, hiring freezes and discretionary spending cuts. Pratt is currently forecasting aviation traffic to recover to pre-COVID levels from 2023.

“With the longer-than-expected recovery time line for commercial aviation, we will remain focused on repositioning our business to be resilient and relevant to our customers’ needs and what the future of our industry will look like,” the engine-maker said in a statement. “This is our responsibility as a business to our employees and other stakeholders.” 

Pratt has been working with the unions since April and will support affected employees with an “upskill” training grant, sponsoring union membership fees for affected union employees for the rest of the year. Staying in the union enables the employees to attend job fairs and further employability workshops organized by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and to continue receiving benefits including union bursary awards, financial relief under NTUC support programs, insurance coverage, and personal development and training assistance. 

Pratt added that Singaporeans will continue to comprise more than 77% of the local workforce after the layoffs. 

Pratt initially suspended redundancies at Eagle Services Asia in the last week of July after NTUC and other unions stepped in citing premature retrenchment of employees before talks with unions were concluded. The parties also adjusted the retrenchment list to reduce the total number of locals affected, after the initial list of 144 workers consisted of 56% Singaporeans. The final list had 140 employees, comprised of 44% Singaporeans. 

Eagle Services Asia is a joint venture between Singapore Airlines Engineering Company and Pratt. 

Separately, Rolls-Royce also announced it will let 240 employees go in Singapore, starting in mid-August, as part of a global restructuring. Rolls employs around 1,000 at its plant at Seletar Aerospace Park, manufacturing blades and assembling the company’s Trent engines.

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.