Ryanair set to axe 3,000 jobs as airline hit by coronavirus outbreak

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Ryanair has said it expects up to 3,000 jobs to be lost as part of a restructuring of the airline.

It comes as the aviation industry battles the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

British Airways announced earlier this week that it would make up to 12,000 staff redundant.

Ryanair made the announcement as it revealed it expects to operate under 1 per cent of its schedule between April and June.

Speaking on Sky News this morning, Chief Executive of Ryanair Michael O’ Leary said: “We have never faced a period like this in the airline industry.

“We will fly less than 150,000 passengers in three months to June rather than 142m.

“We are not only facing less flying with fewer flights, but prices are going to be incredibly low and if we are going to carry a third less passengers, we are going to need less pilots and cabin crew.”

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He said cuts accounted for 15 per cent of the work force and that the remainder of staff will be facing pay cuts for next 12 months to two years of up to 20 per cent.

The chief executive had already taken a 50 per cent pay cut for April and May and this will now be extended for the remainder of the financial year to March 2021.

Mr O’Leary told Sky the firm will challenge bailout of rivals in European courts.

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Ryanair said in a statement: “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 two years, until summer 2022 at the earliest.

“The Ryanair Airlines will shortly notify their trade unions about its restructuring and job loss programme, which will commence from July 2020.

“These plans will be subject to consultation but will affect all Ryanair Airlines and may result in the loss of up to 3,000 mainly pilot and cabin crew jobs, unpaid leave and pay cuts of up to 20 per cent, and the closure of a number of aircraft bases across Europe until traffic recovers.

“Job cuts and pay cuts will also be extended to head office and back office teams.”

Airlines around the world face a struggle to survive due to the pandemic.

Sir Richard Branson has warned that Virgin Atlantic will collapse unless it receives government support.

It emerged on Monday that most of Norwegian’s aircraft will remain grounded for a year.

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