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Singapore Airlines temporarily freezes pilot recruitment

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has temporarily frozen its intake of cadet pilots, as the industry feels the impact of a slowdown in the global economy and high fuel costs.

The move is the second time in three years that the carrier has put a hold on hiring, and comes months after SIA asked some of its pilots to take unpaid leave as profits slumped.

In a statement SIA said it has adjusted its recruitment policy on a regular basis “on operational requirements” adding that it last recruited a group of cadets earlier this year.

“As we have a temporary surplus of First Officers, we are not currently recruiting new cadets,” the company said, but added that it would not give specifics “for reasons of commercial confidentiality”.

SIA encouraged its pilots in March to go on voluntary leave without pay and work for other companies. That call came as it saw net profit in the year to March slump 69% to Sg$336m (£171 m) owing to high oil prices and rising competition.

“The global economy remains uncertain as Europe struggles to contain its debt crisis, while the United States faces a sluggish recovery,” SIA said in July.

“This has negatively impacted business confidence and the outlook for travel demand,” it said.

It has not been decided when hiring will resume