(WMC-TV) – Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines says it plans to put 450 pilots on temporary, unpaid leave during the next 18 months.
The airline says eliminating its United Express and U.S. Airways Express operations would force it to put nearly 16 percent of its 2,860 pilots on furloughs.
The move comes after the airline filed for bankruptcy on April 3.
Since then, pilots who say they're not getting paid have picketed the airlines' headquarters in protest.
Pinnacle hasn't said how other unionized groups like flight attendants, ground operations agents and flight dispatchers will be impacted.
"Our plan for winding down these operations includes exploring every possible option for our people who will be impacted by these decisions," said a written statement from the company. "We remain focused on providing our customers with safe, reliable and on-time service."
Pinnacle CEO Sean Menke recently resigned from the company.
He will be replaced by current Chief Operating Officer John Spanjers on June 1.