Singapore: In what appears to be a growing trend across the globe, Singapore Airlines said it has reached agreement with its pilots union on pay cuts and non-paid leave aimed at helping it counter the effects of a global economic downturn.
In a statement issued late Friday the airlines said pilots had agreed to take a day of leave each month without pay. The union had also agreed to take a cut of 65% of one day's pay out of their monthly basic salary, the airline said. The measures would take effect from 1 July.
The airline said the measures were necessary as "the airline has surplus pilot resources because of the cutback in flights following the sharp fall in demand for air travel."
The move comes hard on the heels of a similar announcement by the British Pilots Association to undertake voluntary pay cuts which would enable British Airways to save atleast $46 million annually.
The airline had earlier reached agreement with other staff unions on cost-cutting measures, including shorter work months and grounding of some of its planes. It said nearly 2,000 employees had signed up for its voluntary no-pay leave scheme, under which staff could apply for leave without pay for durations of up to two years.
The airline management had also agreement to take salary cuts from July ranging between 10 and 20% and the board of directors volunteered to have their fees slashed by 20%.
Singapore Airlines said last month its fourth-quarter net profit plunged 92% from the previous year to 41.9 million Singapore dollars ($29 million).
Earlier this month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the world's airlines are expected to lose nine billion dollars this year, which was near double the estimate issued just three months ago. The industry has already lost an estimated $10.4 billion in 2008, IATA said.