Ryanair has today warned up to 3,000 jobs will be lost as part of restructuring plans due to the coronavirus crisis - while British Airways could cancel its remaining Heathrow flights.
The budget airline added that flights will remain grounded until 'at least July' and passenger numbers will not return to 2019 levels 'until summer 2022 at the earliest'.
In a statement today Ryanair said the restructuring programme will begin in July 2020 and 3,000 pilot and cabin jobs are under threat.
Unpaid leave and pay could also be slashed by up to 20 per cent, as well as the closure of aircraft bases across Europe.
The airline industry is facing dire financial problems after passenger numbers have plummeted due to travel restrictions.
Just yesterday it was revealed British Airways plans to cut the jobs of a quarter of its pilots, could abandon Gatwick Airport and cut the remaining flights at Heathrow.
The airline announced the planned job cuts as it revealed it expects to operate under 1% of its schedule between April and June
Chief executive Michael O'Leary, whose pay was cut by 50 per cent for April and May, has agreed to extend the reduction for the remainder of the financial year to March 2021.
Ryanair said its flights will remain grounded until 'at least July' and passenger numbers will not return to 2019 levels 'until summer 2022 at the earliest'.
It said in a statement: '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 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%, 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.'
CEO Michael O'Leary has agreed to extend this 50% pay cut for the remainder of the financial year to March 2021
The news was revealed in a memo, written by the head of BA's Gatwick operation and seen by BBC News.
This came as it was revealed the beleaguered airline is seeking to cut pilot numbers by a quarter as it slashes costs to weather the coronavirus crisis, according to a separate letter sent to union leaders.
On Tuesday, owners IAG announced some 12,000 redundancies - after it furloughed more than half of its 45,000 workers.
Under the plan, BA would cut 1,130 captain and co-pilot jobs from its headcount of 4,346, the IAG-owned airline's head of flight operations told the BALPA union in the letter.
The letter, written on April 28, reads: 'In a short space of time the situation has significantly deteriorated.'
British Airways planes seen parked up on March 31 at Gatwick airport
It adds that BA may yet be forced to suspend the few services still running from London Heathrow.
'There are no clear signs of improvement in air passenger demand,' it adds.
According to analysis by US-based Dollar Flight Club, we can expect lower airfare prices in the short term, before prices rise dramatically by 2025.
Through to 2021, the flight deals service found there would be a 35 per cent decrease in prices on average, as airlines desperately attempt to draw customers back in.
But over the next four years, prices would then rise by over a quarter above pre-crisis levels as demand outstrips a significantly reduced supply.
The data indicates more severe drops and subsequent price hikes than were experienced either during 9/11 or from the financial crash.
'Passengers in smaller or short-haul markets can expect significant cuts in scheduled air service as airlines downsize operations,' read the report.
'This will make it significantly more expensive and harder for these passengers to travel. In these markets, we can expect train and bus travel to see significant growth.'
The club found that over the next year, customers could get a roundtrip from Los Angeles to London for $329, or a roundtrip from New York to Amsterdam for $278.
A spokeswoman for BA did not immediately return calls and messages seeking comment on the planned cuts, which were first reported by Sky News.
BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton said: 'As far as BALPA is aware there is no truth in the rumour that British Airways will pull out of Gatwick and there has been no indication of that from BA to us. However, it is on our list of questions to ask them.'
In a statement on Tuesday, IAG said: 'In light of the impact of Covid-19 on current operations and the expectation that the recovery of passenger demand to 2019 levels will take several years, British Airways is formally notifying its trade unions about a proposed restructuring and redundancy programme.
'The proposals remain subject to consultation but it is likely that they will affect most of British Airways' employees and may result in the redundancy of up to 12,000 of them.
'As previously announced, British Airways has availed itself of the UK's Covid-19 job retention scheme and furloughed 22,626 employees in April.'
Passenger numbers are expected to halve compared to 2019, with the likes of Flybe already going into administration before full lockdown measures were in place in Britain.
In a letter written on April 28, British Airways CEO Alex Cruz said the airline was 'preparing for a new future'.
He wrote: 'Yesterday, British Airways flew just a handful of aircraft out of Heathrow. On a normal day we would fly more than 300.
'What we are facing as an airline, like so many other businesses up and down the country, is that there is no ‘normal’ any longer.'
His letter continued: 'There is no Government bailout standing by for BA and we cannot expect the taxpayer to offset salaries indefinitely.
'Any money we borrow now will only be short-term and will not address the longer-term challenges we will face.'
Low cost airline Wizz Air will resume flights from Luton airport to Spain, Portugal and other destinations TODAY - even though some are to countries that won't let foreigners in
By Darren Boyle for MailOnline
Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air said it will be resuming flights from London Luton today.
The flights will service airports in Spain, Portugal, Israel, Slovakia, Serbia, Romania and Hungary.
The airline is promising low fares to stimulate demand, however, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office still advises against all foreign non-essential travel.
Passengers won't be able to get refunds if they wish to cancel their flight, even if they know they won't be let into the country they are flying to.
Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air said it will resume flights from London Luton airport this morning after implementing new Covid-19 guidelines for staff and passengers
The airline's chief executive Jozsef Varadi, pictured, said he hoped to have 70 per cent of services back between July and August
The airline is planning to resume services to locations such as Tenerife, Lisbon, Slovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Israel
According to research produced by Bank of America, Wizz Air is currently sitting on massive cash reserves and could refund all passengers three times over.
Passengers on the resumed services will also be obliged to wear face masks and in-flight magazines will not be available.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
Wizz Air's UK