The Singapore Government has announced an S$870m (nearly $655m) package to support the country’s aviation sector for recovery amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Named the OneAviation Support Package, the aid was included in the 2021 budget.

The package comprises two key components, notably a $330m enhanced manpower support and a $540m cost relief.

As part of the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), aviation firms will receive 30% support for wages paid from April to June. They will also be granted 10% support for wages paid from July to September.

The OneAviation Support Package will increase these wage supports to 50% via an Aviation Workforce Retention Grant.

Eligible companies will subsequently receive an additional 20% support for wages paid to local employees from April to September, as well as an additional 40% support for wages paid from July to September.

Local employees only include Singapore citizens and permanent residents.

In addition, the Enhanced Training Support Programme until this December.

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said: “Aviation is one of the hardest-hit sectors during this pandemic, if not the hardest hit, as Changi and its stakeholders have lost 97.5% of its customers. Yet for a city-state like Singapore, the air hub is essential to connect us with the rest of the world and continues to be our lifeblood.

“This support will help Changi tide through the crisis, while we explore ways to reopen borders safely. I will speak more about this during the Committee of Supply debate.”