All Ryanair staff are to have their pay cut in half for two months as a result of the disruption caused by the coronavirus.

In an interview with the Financial Times (paywall), Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary confirmed he would be taking a 50% pay cut along with the rest of the airline’s workforce.

The pay cut will be in place until the end of May, when the airline will re-assess the situation, with O’Leary refusing to rule out possible job cuts further down the line.


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The carrier’s boss admitted the airline had cash to survive for “maybe even 12 months” even if there are no flights during that timeframe. The cost-saving initiatives come after O’Leary announced that “most if not all” of the airline’s planes would be grounded by Tuesday, March 24.

He said: “Airlines and airports are going to have no customers and no revenues for the next two or three months.

“What we’re clearly trying to avoid — if at all possible because we have to preserve cash — we want to avoid mass lay-offs but the only way we can avoid mass lay-offs in our industry . . . is going to be payroll support for the next two to four months.

“The priority here for us as a company is how do we preserve as much cash so that if we have to operate for three, six, nine, maybe even 12 months, with no flights and no revenues how do we survive that, do we have the cash to survive that and we believe we do.”