- Low-cost carrier Ryanair said it expected to layoff up to 3,000 workers and was planning to cut aircraft orders, while warning that demand may not fully recover from the Covid-19 crisis for at least two years.

Ryanair said the job cuts would mostly affect pilots and cabin crew.

It also warned a planned restructuring could result in the 'loss of unpaid leave' and involve pay cuts of up to 20%.

'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,' the company said.

Rynair said it was in active negotiations with both Boeing and Laudamotion's A320 lessors to cut the number of planned aircraft deliveries over the next 24 months.

The company said it expected to report a net loss of more than €100m in the first quarter, with further losses expected in the second due to fleet groundings.

'Ryanair expects that its return to scheduled services will be rendered more difficult by competing with flag carrier airlines, who will be financing below-cost selling with the benefit of over €30bn in unlawful state aid, in breach of both EU state aid and competition rules,' it added.

The company said it entered the crisis with almost €4bn in cash, adding that it could 'actively manage these cash resources to ensure that we can survive this Covid-19 pandemic'.

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