Q&A: Singapore Airlines Flight Attendants
Executive Travel asked Nicholas Ionides, vice president of public affairs at Singapore Airlines, how the company trains Singapore Girls.
Q. How long is your flight attendant training program, and how many candidates attend?
A. Upon joining the company, new recruits undergo a rigorous 15-week training program of classroom and on-the-job training. Generally, each training program is attended by about 20 new recruits.
Q. Do you have male Singapore Girls? Is their training any different?
A. Yes. In fact, male crew make up about 40 percent of our entire cabin crew population. The training that female and male crew undergo is essentially the same; however, some aspects of the training, such as personal grooming, are naturally customized for each gender.
Q. Do you have grooming guidelines?
A. To enable all our Singapore Girls to project the right combination of femininity, sophistication and worldliness, a grooming guide has been specially designed for them that sets clear and practical standards for grooming and appearance. A guide has also been developed for our male crew.
Q. What subjects does flight attendant training cover?
A. The training behind our Singapore Girl is extremely comprehensive. It not only fulfills in-service, promotional and statutory requirements, but also offers personal development in the form of self-directed courses, such as language classes. Most important, our crew are trained to always strive to exceed passengers’ expectations, going the extra mile where they can and really looking into the finer details to make each flight experience memorable.
Q. In what way are flight attendants trained to handle emergency and safety problems?
A. Safety training modules include basic first aid, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and fire fighting. Practical training includes CPR practice on special instrumented dummies and the use of fire extinguishers in a fire training room. Emergency drills are conducted in a cabin mock-up, and water survival training is conducted in a training pool. A cabin mock-up is also used for instruction on ditching procedures, slide-raft boarding and launching, and a wave generator simulates “open sea” conditions. Various daytime and nighttime sea scenarios and conditions can be re-created. Safety & Emergency Procedures (SEP) training is a crucial part of the training process. Every crew member must attend it annually. Recurrent SEP training includes first aid and fire fighting, and land and sea evacuations are alternated every year.
The Singapore Girl uniform, created by French couture designer Pierre Balmain, was introduced in 1972. Since then, it has remained largely unchanged, though the original shoes were replaced by Balmain-designed safety shoes in 2001.