An easyJet pilot has been grounded after reportedly telling friends he was suicidal.

He was stood down by the airline after it was alerted to messages he sent to a WhatsApp group stating he was "probably going to kill myself", according to The Sun.

The newspaper reported he has since told bosses he is not suicidal.

Concerns about the mental health of flight crew have been raised since a Germanwings airliner was deliberately flown into a mountain by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in March 2015, killing all 150 people on board.

"We can confirm that the pilot was stood down from flying several days ago, in line with our procedures, while we investigate. We have offered support in the meantime," an easyJet spokeswoman said.

"The safety and well-being of our passengers and crew is the airline's highest priority."

"We offer support through an employee assistance programme, pilot peer support programme and we have a full occupational health provision across our UK and European network," she added.

"We always take steps to ensure that easyJet's pilots are fully fit to operate.

"All pilots are licensed under aviation regulators and as part of this are subject to extensive regular medical assessments which include mental health assessments."