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#COCID19IMPACT: Irish airline Ryanair plans 3,000 job cuts over virus, called on European governments to cut taxes levied on air travel

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair said Friday that it plans to axe up to 3,000 pilot and cabin crew jobs, with air transport paralysed by the coronavirus pandemic, according to an AFP report.

Dublin-based Ryanair added in a statement that most of its flights will remain grounded until at least July and predicted it would take until summer 2022 before passenger demand recovers.

The airline said that they may also need to cut pay by up to 20 per cent, close a number of bases across Europe and reduce employees unpaid leave.

The statement blamed their financial downturn on 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."

The statement added: "The level playing field will be distorted by competing against legacy airlines who are receiving over €30 billion of State Aid, in clear breach of both EU competition and State Aid rules.

"This unlawful and discriminatory State Aid will be challenged by Ryanair in the European Courts."

The low-cost airline has grounded 99 per cent of its fleet due to coronavirus.
Ryanair said that while they expected some flight services to return by them, they still expected their passenger number to be less than half of their original target for July to September.

They expected to carry less than 100 million passengers in their full financial year ending in March 2021, less than 65 percent of it's original target.

Ryanair said that consumer confidence will be impacted by public health restrictions, "such as temperature checks at airports and face coverings for passengers and staff on board aircraft."

Ryanair said it expected discounts to be issued to travellers to stimulate demand with below-cost selling from some airlines with large financial reserves.

They called on European governments to cut taxes levied on air travel.

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