SIA to release 76 pilots

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SIA operates a fleet of 102 aircraft
SIA operates a fleet of 102 aircraft

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced plans to will release 76 pilots.

The move will see the captains, all of whom are employed on fixed-term contracts, leave the airline by 30 June 2013. The airline had previously been releasing pilots only upon expiry of their contracts.

SIA said releasing the pilots had been a “difficult decision”, but that the move was necessary as it currently has too many pilots.

“Singapore Airlines currently has a surplus of pilots to its operational requirements, as the global financial crisis of 2009-10 had resulted in excess capacity and slower than expected growth,” the airline said in a statement.

It added that it would help the pilots find employment, either elsewhere in the SIA Group or with other airlines.

This is the latest, and most drastic, step SIA has taken to reduce its pilot workforce. Previously the airline offered as voluntary leave without pay, and suspended its cadet pilot recruitment programme.

SIA currently operates a fleet of 102 aircraft, with outstanding orders for a further 68. The airline employs approximately 13,900 staff, of which more than 2,100 are pilots. Captains employed on fixed-term contracts however, make up just 4% of SIA’s total pilot workforce.

SIA’s net profits declined 30% in the first half of the 2012-13 financial year, to SG$168 million (US$136m).

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