SIA to pilots – see you in two years

IN February it announced it would reduce capacity on its 13 747-400Fs by at least 20 per cent and now Singapore Airlines (SIA) has asked pilots to volunteer for unpaid leave… for up to two years.

It is unknown how many pilots will take the offer and join rival carriers for the two-year period.

About half of SIA’s 2,335 pilots were not of captain rank as of 31 March last year, SIA’s 2010/2011 annual report stated.

“We view the resultant surplus pilot situation as temporary, and are therefore managing this by introducing the voluntary scheme,” spokesperson Nicholas Ionides says.

Profits fell by more than half in the final quarter of 2011 due to rising fuel costs and weakening passenger and cargo demand from Europe.