Ryanair may have to lay off 10-20% of staff in the winter season as it will operate fewer flights due to the coronavirus crisis, chief executive Michael O'Leary said in a newspaper interview published today. 

Citing an expected drop in flights by 20-30% in the winter schedule, Michael O'Leary told German business daily Handelsblatt that fewer staff would be required. 

"I think that job reductions by 10-20% in winter are almost inevitable," he said. "Passengers will return, but it will take time." 

There could also be a second wave of worldwide infections, he said. 

When lockdowns end, airports and planes will have to ensure rules on social distancing and protective gear. 

Michael O'Leary has backed anti-virus measures but rejected calls for planes to fly one-third empty.