Alaska Airlines – which is based in Seattle and primarily serves the Pacific Northwest – is announcing it will cut its flight schedule by 70% for at least the next two months.
In a statement, the company says demand for its flights has fallen by more than 80%, forcing dramatic reductions.
Alaska Airlines says it is cutting contract and temporary jobs and suspending annual pay increases. The airline also is offering employees the opportunity to take a voluntarily leave of absence. Those who accept would not be paid a salary, but would keep their health and travel benefits.
Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden will forgo his pay through September 30, as will president Ben Minicucci, according to the airline. Additional pay cuts will be made in the executive ranks — all the way down to vice president level — and the board of directors will receive no pay.
The moves are being made as the company actively lobbies the federal government to pass a relief package for the airline industry.
“We are ultimately optimistic about the future of our great airline,” Tilden said in a statement. “But it is clear that we are and will be under severe financial pressure for the foreseeable future and that is why these actions are essential.”