SEATTLE -- Alaska Airlines said Wednesday it plans to reduce flights by 70 per cent in April and May and cut pay for its CEO and president to zero through September to conserve cash amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Seattle-based airline said Wednesday that like other airlines they are seeing demand for flights drop by more than 80 per cent and that flight schedules for June and beyond will be based on demand.

“These actions are unprecedented, but these are truly unprecedented times,” Alaska CEO Brad Tilden said in a news release. “Alaska has been here for 88 years to serve our customers and communities and to provide good jobs for our people. It is imperative that we act swiftly and courageously to ensure that we're here to continue our mission in the future.”

Alaska is and will be under severe financial pressure for the foreseeable future, Tilden added.

Additionally, Alaska plans to slash pay by 50 per cent to the president of Horizon Air, and cut it by 20 per cent to 30 per cent for other executives. Company board members also will not take their pay.

The company has worked with the White House, The Treasury Department, and Congress on a $50-billion aid package for passenger airlines, Tilden said.

“As we more fully understand the impact of these provisions, we will add to our plans to manage through this change,” he said.