Singapore Airlines will cut 96% of the capacity that had been originally scheduled between now and the end of April, as restrictions tighten amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It will ground about 138 Singapore Airlines and SilkAir airlines, out of a fleet of 147.

The SIA Group’s low-cost carrier, Scoot, will also suspend most of its network, grounding 47 of its fleet of 49 aircraft.

The airline said in a statement: “It is unclear when the SIA Group can begin to resume normal services, given the uncertainty as to when the stringent border controls will be lifted.

“The resultant collapse in the demand for air travel has led to a significant decline in SIA’s passenger revenues.”

It is talking to aircraft manufacturers about deferring aircraft deliveries, cutting executive pay, and introducing a voluntary unpaid leave scheme for staff.

More: Coronavirus: Latest news and updates

Goh Choon Phong, chief executive, said: “Even during this crisis, our customers and staff remain our top priority. We continue to focus on getting as many of our passengers as possible back home safely and protecting the jobs of our people.

“I would like to thank the SIA Group staff for their commitment and sacrifices during this extremely challenging time.

“I would also like to apologise to our customers, and thank them for their patience and understanding, as we grapple with this unprecedented situation.

“We have more than doubled the handling capacity at our service centres and sales offices, and trying to help as many of you as soon as possible.”

Airlines around the world are grounding fleets and introducing stringent cost-cutting measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, including most recently Etihad Airways and Emirates.