Aer Lingus has confirmed that it laid off an unspecified number of staff due to the Covid-19 crisis which has caused a collapse in aviation traffic.

Earlier, RTÉ was informed by a staff member that they had been laid off, as had a number of others.

In a statement, the airline confirmed that it had communicated to a number of fixed-term contractors in March that their planned appointments as permanent seasonal contractors were being deferred due to the Covid-19 crisis.

"Given the ongoing crisis,  the decimation in demand for travel in the immediate term, and the uncertainty regarding future travel demand thereafter, these individuals have now been informed that there is no operational requirement for their roles going forward," the statement continued.

Aer Lingus declined to indicate how many such employees have been laid off.

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Earlier this week, the airline confirmed that it would be reducing the pay and hours of most staff to 30% of their usual earnings from 21 June to 29 August, though the airline did not rule out extending the cuts depending on whether the coronavirus has been suppressed and business has improved.

Staff in Shannon and in a number of other areas have already been temporarily laid off.