Low-cost Irish airline Ryanair on May 1 announced that it planned to cut 15 per cent of its workforce, which is about 3,000 staff members due to coronavirus lockdown. The Irish airline in a statement said that it is planning to cut jobs of over 3,000 pilots and cabin crew members due to low air traffic caused by COVID-19 pandemic. The airline said that the restructuring program will start in July this year as the passenger levels will take until 2022 to return to normal.
According to reports, the airline industry is the hardest-hit in almost all major countries around the world as the United Kingdom's Heathrow airport recorded a 97 percent decline in the number of passengers travelling in April 2020, compared to the same time in 2019. Ryanair's Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary has agreed to refund the money of over 25 million customers, for which the billionaire is facing the heat.
Media reports suggest that Ryanair flights will remain grounded until July and the airline may slash the pay of its employees by up to 20 percent. CEO O'Leary's salary was cut by 50 percent and he has decided to continue this for the present financial year, that is until March 2021. It is not just Ryanair, British Airways also plans to cut its workforce to cope with the losses.
According to reports, the British government has said that it will not provide any aid to airline companies. Ryanair CEO has said that it is facing a challenge because its competitors in Europe, such as Air France and Lufthansa are getting subsidy from the state and are also hoovering up for payroll support schemes. O'Leary said that these airlines will be able to fly on low-cost for up to five years because of government support and Ryanair will face unfair competition s a result of that.
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