Singapore Airlines has asked its pilots to take unpaid leave for up to seven days each month, starting 1 April.

The airline tells Cirium this applies to pilots with the mainline carrier and regional carrier SilkAir, and the measures will be in place “until the business recovers”.

It adds: “We have also reached agreements with our unions for a set of cost-cutting measures. These include voluntary no-pay leave for all staff up to division vice-presidents [and] varying days of compulsory no-pay leave ranging between one and seven days every month for pilots, executives and associates, as well as furlough for staff on re-employment contracts. These measures will impact about 10,000 staff.”

Local newspaper Business Times reports that captains are to take seven days of unpaid leave per month, while first officers and second officers will take five days and four days, respectively. Pilots older than 62 and on re-employment contracts will be placed on furlough for at least six months.

The same report quotes Kenneth Lai, president of the Air Line Pilots Association Singapore (Alpa-S), as saying that the latest measures, along with steep capacity cuts, will on average cut captains’ salaries by as much as 55%. First officers and second officers will see reductions of up to 50% and 15%, respectively. These are computed against the pilots’ total monthly package, comprising their basic salary and a variable component.

Singapore Airlines declined to say when the next round of scheduled salary negotiations with Alpa-S would take place, citing confidentiality.

Responding to Cirium’s queries about how the latest measures will impact its liquidity, the group reiterates that it has drawn on its lines of credit to meet immediate cash-flow requirements and is in discussions with several financial institutions for future funding needs.

It says: “The company continues to explore measures to shore up its liquidity during this unprecedented disruption to global air travel.”