Stansted-based Ryanair to cut 3,000 jobs as airline hit by coronavirus outbreak

Ryanair is Europe’s largest budget airline. Credit: PA

Ryanair, which has a UK base at Stansted Airport, is planning to cut up to 3,000 jobs because of the "unprecedented" coronavirus crisis.

The budget airline said it's part of restructuring plans as 99% of its fleet remains grounded until "at least July".

The jobs will be mainly pilot and cabin crew, while other measures will see unpaid leave and pay slashed by up to 20%, as well as the closure of "a number of aircraft bases across Europe" until demand for air travel recovers.

The airline employs 9,000 cabin crew and 5000 pilots. Credit: PA

In a statement Ryanair said: "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.

"These plans will be subject to consultation but will affect all Ryanair Airlines and may result in the loss of up to 3,000 mainly pilot and cabin crew jobs, unpaid leave and pay cuts of up to 20%, and the closure of a number of aircraft bases across Europe until traffic recovers.

"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."