Ryanair says it may have to layoff around 3,000 pilots and cabin crew over the next two years due to the fall in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The budget airline says the restructuring plan could also force the company to make temporary layoffs, reduce wages by around 20% and close a number of bases in Europe.
Last Saturday Ryanair said that "more than 99% of its fleet will be grounded at least until July” and estimated that “passenger traffic will not return to 2019 levels until the summer of 2022, at the earliest.”
Less than 1% of its flight schedule will operate between April and June, carrying around 20 million users, compared to the 44.6 million originally planned for the third quarter of 2020.
For the rest of the fiscal year until March 2021, passenger traffic is not expected to exceed 100 million, compared to the 154 million the Airline forecast before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ryanair estimates it will lose €100 million between April and May and "further losses” will be added over the next three months.
The Irish low-cost airline claims it is being "forced to compete" on unequal terms with former national flag carriers, which have received "€30 billion in state aid" to stay afloat during the Covid-19 crisis.
CEO, Michael O’Leary has asked the European Union Competition Authorities for help and warned that he will take legal action against countries that decide to rescue former public airlines.
Last week he claimed that France and the Netherlands have an aid package ready to re-float Air France-KLM, Lufthansa is in negotiations for relief measures and that Italy is planing to bail out Alitalia.