RYANAIR doesn’t expect flights to be back to normal for two years as the air travel industry is decimated by the coronavirus fallout.
The airline has warned staff to brace for thousands of job losses, as travel as we once knew won’t bounce back until around 2022.
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A spokesman said: “As a direct result of the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis, the grounding of all flights from mid-March until at least July, and the distorted State Aid landscape in Europe, Ryanair now expects the recovery of passenger demand and pricing (to 2019 levels) will take at least 2 years, until summer 2022 at the earliest.”
The airline is set to make 3,000 staff redundant as it is hit hard by the lack of flights, with the world largely in lockdown.
It comes as the low-cost airline has grounded 99 per cent of its fleet of aircraft due to the worldwide health pandemic.
When it does return, the budget carrier says passengers can expect to see “significant price discounting” for its fares.
Future travellers may also be forced to wear face masks on flights as part of new plans expected to hit the entire travel industry.
Passengers could also be subject to temperature checks at airports to make sure they’re well enough to fly.
MOVING WITH THE TIMES
Earlier this evening Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted he didn’t know when people would be able to go on holiday again.
He said: “Unfortunately we just don’t know, it’s still too early to say.
“I’m really sorry to have to give that answer, but the five tests are there partly to give everyone a sense on when we can make those decisions.
“We will only lift lockdown measures when it is safe to do so “
It comes as:
- Lockdown may last for months if daily cases stay above 1,000
- Interactive map shows covid-19 deaths in your area
- Brits to be asked to wear face masks after lockdown
- Scientists expect vaccine by summer
Brian Strutton, general secretary of pilots’ union Balpa, said the threat of job losses was “miserable news for pilots and staff”.
He warned that the aviation workers are facing “a tsunami of job losses” and called on the Government to “stop daydreaming” and take more action to support the industry.
Trade union Unite described the news as a “premature announcement” while the Government’s job retention scheme remains.
It vowed to fight the job cuts, arguing that Ryanair “has significant cash reserves”.
This grim total includes deaths in care homes, after the Government vowed to add those into the tragic tally this week.
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Among those who have lost their loved ones is dad Chris Cadby who lost his wife, Julianne, and his mother-in-law to Covid-19 in the space of three weeks – before battling the deadly virus himself.
The dad broke down in tears when his son asked him – “who’s next daddy, you or me?”
Speaking to Sky News this morning Chris, 43, said: “He came down, I already had to tell him on Sunday that his granny had died.
“I called him down I said: ‘Evan, mummy has gone to be with granny’ and he came over and gave me a hug. He had a little cry.
“In the afternoon he said ‘who’s next daddy, is it going to be you or me?’ I said I hope it’s none of us. We don’t want any more do we?'”
Join our George Cross campaign for NHS staff
We are urging Sun readers to sign a petition calling for our NHS staff to be awarded the George Cross.
We are backing a proposal by Lord Ashcroft to honour our health heroes with the gallantry gong given for acts of bravery that did not take place in battle.
A No10 spokesman said: “The NHS is doing a fantastic job and the nation will want to find a way to say thank you when we have defeated this virus.” SAS hero Andy McNab added: “The award of a George Cross would show an emotional appreciation.”
We are asking our readers to please sign the petition below.
Paisley neighbours dance social distancing conga during lockdown