Ryanair is expecting to cut up to 3,000 jobs from July and shut a number of European bases, as it projects that a post-crisis recovery will take at least two years.
The airline is negotiating with Boeing to reduce planned deliveries of new 737s for the next 24 months, and is holding similar discussions with lessors of Laudamotion’s Airbus A320 fleet.
Ryanair says these measures will lower its capital expenditure commitments.
The company is expecting a net loss of more than €100 million for the first quarter and further losses in the second.
It adds that it needs to adjust to a “slower and more distorted” European air travel market once the coronavirus threat recedes.
Ryanair is not expecting recovery of passenger demand to 2019 level until at least summer 2022.
It is embarking on a restructuring and job-reduction programme from July – subject to consultation – that will affect all airlines across the Ryanair Group.
Pilots and cabin crew will be mainly affected by the job losses, the company says. Its restructuring will also involve pay cuts of up to 20%, unpaid leave, and base closures. Chief executive Michael O’Leary is extending his 50% pay reduction until the end of March 2021.
Ryanair, which held nearly €4 billion in cash before the crisis, has – unsurprisingly – strongly criticised rival European operators’ pursuit of government aid, claiming that they have received €30 billion in “doping” to maintain their services and vowing to take legal action over the situation.
The devastating impact of the disease on the aviation industry has been underlined as Heathrow revealed the number of passengers travelling through the airport last month plummeted by around 97% compared with April 2019.
It saw its chief executive warn that millions of jobs could be hit unless Heathrow got up and running soon, given the reliance of business on aviation.