Ryanair will cut up to 3,000 jobs, mainly among pilots and cabin crew, due to the paralysis of air transport in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, the low-cost airline announced Friday.
The Irish air carrier said in a statement that its flights will be at a standstill until at least July and that it will take two years, in the summer of 2022, for a return to normal.
The statement explains that: “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.”
“Job cuts and pay cuts will also be extended to head office and back-office teams. Group CEO Michael O’Leary, whose pay was cut by 50% for April and May, has now agreed to extend this 50% pay cut for the remainder of the financial year to March 2021.”
Europe’s aviation industry has been facing difficulties since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Reduced travel, and ultimately grounded flights have left airlines with bills to pay, as state aid discussions continue across Europe.
Disgruntled passengers have also spoken out against airlines directing them towards vouchers offer refunds for cancelled tips – leading to consumer bodies stepping in to clarify that while they might not want to, airlines have to refund tickets if it is requested.
Brussels Airlines is one of the many airlines offering vouchers to travellers whose flights have been cancelled. “We offer them to be as flexible as possible. This allows people to use their ticket value until next year. They can also change their destination, and they can get €50 extra travel value as a gift,” Kim Daenen, spokesperson for Brussels Airlines, told the Brussels Times.