Ryanair cabin crew members based in the UK have agreed to a temporary pay cut of up to 10% to avert job losses at the airline.

Trade union Unite says the tiered pay reduction will cut the salaries of the lowest-paid cabin crew by 5% while those of the highest-paid employees by 10%.

The pay cuts will be returned in two tranches, in 2023 and 2024, says the union, and the current pay agreement covering wage increases will be retained and phased in from 2023.

A review clause built into the deal will ensure that the pay cuts can be reversed “if Ryanair returns to pre-Covid-19 levels of business” earlier than expected, says Unite.

“The agreement with Ryanair shows that the company has taken a more constructive and less damaging approach to dealing with the issues than many of its competitor airlines,” states Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland.

The deal follows earlier pacts with Ryanair’s Ireland- and UK-based pilots, who voted to accept a 20% pay cut over four years.

In early May, Ryanair disclosed preparations to eliminate up to 3,000 crew positions from July and close a number of European bases. It also axed more than 250 office-based jobs at four locations.

However, the airline’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said on 1 July that with pay reductions it could “avoid most but not all job cuts”.