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Ryanair plans return to the skies in July with super cheap flights but slashes 3,000 jobs

RYANAIR expects to be flying passengers again by July with even cheaper fares planned to entice travellers.

The travel update from the low-budget airline comes despite Ryanair announcing plans to axe up to 3,000 jobs - also starting in July.

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 Ryanair has announced job cuts in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic
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Ryanair has announced job cuts in the midst of the coronavirus pandemicCredit: Reuters

It comes as the low-cost airline has grounded 99 per cent of its fleet of aircraft due to the worldwide health pandemic.

Ryanair expects to operate less than 1 per cent of its flight schedule between April and June, due to ongoing travel restrictions, before returning to a "meaningful" schedule in July.

When it does return, the budget carrier says passengers can expect to see "significant price discounting" for its fares.

Future travellers may also be forced to wear face masks on flights as part of new plans expected to hit the entire travel industry.

How coronavirus has crippled the travel industry

HERE'S how coronavirus has hit major travel operators:

  • British Airways has suspended all routes from London Gatwick and London City airports, and has moved all operations into terminal 5 at London Heathrow.
    The airline is currently operating just one in ten of its usual flights.
    On April 28, BA’s parent company IAG said it was preparing to cut 12,000 jobs from the airline’s 42,000-strong workforce.
    Reports on April 30 suggest a quarter of pilot roles could be included in this number.
  • easyJet has grounded its entire fleet of 330 aircraft and cancelled all flights.
    The airline hasn’t said when it will start flying again but its staff are currently being given a two-month leave of absence, meaning the measures will last at least until June.
  • Flybe collapsed into administration on March 5.
    The airline had been losing money for several months, with it narrowly avoiding going under in January 2020, but coronavirus was understood to have had a severe impact on bookings.
  • Jet2 has cancelled all flights and holiday packages until June 17.
    The airline is expected to start flying again from the middle of June.
    However, this could change depending on the lockdown situation.
  • Ryanair has grounded 99 per cent of its fleet due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    Remaining flights are operating on an emergency schedule only for passengers trying to return to the UK.
    The airline today announced it could cut 3,000 jobs as part of a restructuring plan.
  • TUI has suspended all package holidays and cruises due to the crisis.
    All trips have been cancelled until June 11, while Marella Cruise holidays won't resume until July.
    The dates could be extended again depending on government advice.
  • Virgin Atlantic has suspended all flights, with no word on when it'll start flying again.
    Virgin Group owner Richard Branson has asked the government for a bailout to keep the airline going.
    It follows the fall of Virgin Australia into administration after being refused a bailout from the Australian government.
  • Wizz Air had grounded the majority of its flights, with limited routes to Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland.
    However, the airline has today resumed some routes from London Luton Airport.
    Destinations include Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Portugal, Spain and Israel.

 

Passengers could also be subject to temperature checks at airports to make sure they're well enough to fly.

Michael O'Leary, boss of the budget carrier, has previously warned the low-budget carrier won’t, however, fly if it is required to keep the middle seat empty.

Meanwhile, passengers with cancelled trips have been told they could wait up to six months to get cash refunds.

Mr O'Leary told the BBC the airline is struggling to process a backlog of 25million refunds with reduced staff.

Ryanair had previously said refunds won't be processed until after the coronavirus crisis has passed.

 Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary is taking an extended pay cut until March 2021
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Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary is taking an extended pay cut until March 2021Credit: Pacemaker Press

Ryanair has also announced it expects to cut 3,000 jobs from July 2020 as part of a mass restructuring plan.

This could see pilot and cabin jobs axed, as well as unpaid leave and pay cuts of up to 20 per cent.

Head office and back office jobs could also be lost, as well as aircraft bases across Europe being closed, the airline said.

The job loss plans will be subject to consultation first.

Mr O'Leary will also continue to take a 50 per cent pay cut until March 2021.

The company said it will fly less than 150,000 passengers in three months to June, rather than the 42million it would normally expect.

For the full year ahead, ending March 2021, Ryanair now expects to carry less than 100million passengers - more than 35 per cent below its original 154million target.

But the airline's boss says he expects 80 per cent of the carrier’s schedule to resume by September if flights in Europe start again in early July - but only if Ryanair is allowed to use all of the seats on its planes.

Is Ryanair operating any flights?

RYANAIR has grounded 99 per cent of its fleet due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The remaining flights are operating on an emergency schedule only for passengers trying to return to the UK.

The majority of flights from the UK are to Dublin or Cork, with European destinations Eindhoven, Lisbon, Budapest and Cork.

Flights from Dublin are predominately to UK airports, although are also flying to Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Cologne and Lisbon.

The airline today said it expects to start flying with a "meaningful" schedule in July.

Ryanair said in a statement: "The Ryanair Airlines will shortly notify their trade unions about its restructuring and job loss programme, which will commence from July 2020.

"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 per cent, 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."

Brits have been forced to cancel and reschedule their holidays amid the coronavirus pandemic, sparking misery and job cuts across the whole of the travel industry.

British Airways yesterday announced it was cutting a quarter of pilot roles as part of plans to make 12,000 workers redundant.

 

The health crisis has also seen travellers warned that airports across the UK are at risk of closing for good due to 90 per cent of flights being grounded.

When will UK flights resume? Here are the latest updates from Jet2, EasyJet, Ryanair and more.

If you've been struggling to get a refund from Ryanair for a cancelled flight, we've rounded up how you might be able to get your money back using your debit or credit card.

Ryanair boss accuses Richard Branson of ‘fleecing’ UK taxpayers over £500m Virgin Atlantic bailout


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