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Ryanair to Cut 3,000 Jobs, Slash Wages for Those Who Remain Admidst COVID-19 Crisis

Ryanair to Cut 3,000 Jobs, Slash Wages for Those Who Remain Admidst COVID-19 Crisis

Unions Claim Ryanair Chairman Doesn't Have Nearly As Much Support As Airline Reported

Ryanair says it will be forced to axe at least 3,000 jobs as a direct result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – the majority of layoffs will be pilots and cabin crew the airline revealed on Friday morning. The mass redundancy programme represents around 15 per cent of Ryanair’s entire workforce and comes as the Irish low-cost carrier prepares for a slow two-year recovery from the Corona-crisis.

The BALPA trade union, which represents Ryanair’s pilots in the United Kingdom reacted to the news by warning that “aviation workers are now facing a tsunami of job losses.” Job losses have already been proposed at both Lufthansa and British Airways.

The announcement of job losses came as Ryanair lashed out at the decision of some governments to offer taxpayer-funded bailouts to their “national” airlines. Ryanair estimates State aid across Europe amounts to around €30 billion including a proposed €12 billion bailout for Lufthansa and €10 billion earmarked for the Air France-KLM Group.

Ryanair likened government bailouts to sports doping and said it would “distort Europe’s level playing field in airline competition for many years”. Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive believes that passenger demand will only recover with record low airfares – “Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and Alitalia can now fund many years of below-cost selling,” the airline complained.

“Consumer confidence will be impacted by public health restrictions, such as temperature checks at airports and face coverings for passengers and staff onboard aircraft,” the airline said in a market update. O’Leary has rejected the idea of social distancing by blocking the middle seat on planes but believes there is a case of face masks for passengers and crew.

The 3,000 job losses are likely to be made across Europe and consultation has now started with trade unions. Those who remain will be forced to take a 20 per cent pay cut. O’Leary has agreed to forfeit 50 per cent of his wages until March 2021.

Ryanair now expects to make a loss of €100 million in the first quarter and even deeper cuts during what should have been the peak summer period. Along with job cuts, Ryanair said it was in talks with aircraft manufacturer Boeing and lessors to cut the number of planned aircraft deliveries for at least two years.

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