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Ryanair axes 250 staff as it plans up to 3,000 job cuts

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Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary

RYANAIR is still finalising plans to axe up to 3,000 workers after confirming that 250 people have already been let go at its offices in Dublin, Stansted, Madrid and Wroclaw.

It said the 250 layoffs included staff who had been on probation or fixed contracts, as well as resignations and redundancies.

The airline pointed out that it expected to carry less than 100 million passengers in the current financial year, which is more than 35pc lower than the 155 million it had expected to carry in the 12 months to the end of next March.

"Regrettably, we will now have a small number of compulsory redundancies in Dublin, Stansted, Madrid and Wroclaw to right-size our support teams for a year when we will carry less than 100 million passengers due to the Covid-19 crisis," said Ryanair's people director Darrell Hughes.

"These job losses were communicated to individual team members this week, and they will not be returning to work in our Dublin, Stansted, Madrid or Wroclaw offices when they reopen on June 1 next," he added.

Mr Hughes said Ryanair was continuing to hold meetings with pilot and cabin crew unions across Europe to finalise up to 3,000 job cuts as the airline plotted a return of about 40pc of its normal flight schedule from July.

"Ryanair is also facing intense price competition across Europe as we are forced to compete with flag carrier airlines who have received over €30bn in unlawful state aid subsidies from their governments, and who will be able to engage in below low-cost selling for many years with the benefit of this illegal state aid," he claimed.

Since the Covid-19 flight restrictions were introduced in the middle of March, Ryanair has been operating a skeleton daily schedule of 30 flights between Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe.

It released a video this week showing what it expects flying procedures to be like for passengers when services resume.

Its customers will be expected to take their own temperature before they leave home and wear face masks at the airport and on board. They will also have to ask permission to use the toilet while on the aircraft. But just how the procedures will work in practice remains to be seen.

Ryanair group CEO Michael O'Leary (inset left) this week likened German carrier Lufthansa to a "drunken uncle" at the end of a wedding, "drinking from all the empty glasses", as the airline lines up state aid to help it survive the pandemic.

Ryanair is also targeting lawsuits against other bailouts. France has agreed to provide Air France with €7bn in loans, while the Dutch government has pledged between €2bn and €4bn to KLM.

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