RYANAIR doesn't expect flights to be back to normal for two years as the airline industry is decimated in the coronavirus fallout.
The airline has warned staff to brace for thousands of job losses, as travel as we once knew won't bounce back until around 2022.
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A spokesman said: "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 2 years, until summer 2022 at the earliest."
The airline is set to make 3,000 staff redundant as it is hit hard by the lack of flights as the world remains largely in lockdown.
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.
Passengers could also be subject to temperature checks at airports to make sure they're well enough to fly.
MOVING WITH THE TIMES
Earlier this evening Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted he didn't know when people would be able to go on holiday again.
He said: "Unfortunately we just don't know its still too early to say.
"I'm really sorry to have to give that answer, but it is the five tests are there partly to give everyone a sense on when we can make those decisions.
"We will only lift lockdown measures when it is safe to do so "
Brian Strutton, general secretary of pilots' union Balpa, said the threat of job losses was "miserable news for pilots and staff".
He warned that the aviation workers are facing "a tsunami of job losses" and called on the Government to "stop daydreaming" and take more action to support the industry.
Trade union Unite described the news as a "premature announcement" while the Government's job retention scheme remains. It vowed to fight the job cuts, arguing that Ryanair "has significant cash reserves".
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.
It comes as the UK's coronavirus death toll has risen to at least 27,510 after 352 more deaths in hospital were recorded in England today.
This grim total includes deaths in care homes, after the Government vowed to add those into the tragic tally this week.
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