Low-cost airline easyJet has denied claims it is 'hanging by a thread' - just a year after the collapse of rival tour operator Thomas Cook.

Pilots' union representative and easyJet captain Martin Entwisle was reported to have warned the airline could cut back significantly on its schedule because of damage caused by the pandemic.

It flies to destinations around Europe from several UK airports, including Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Bristol.

According to the BBC, Mr Entwisle said the company was in a dire situation in another potential blow to the travel industry already decimated by the coronavirus crisis.

Balpa rep Mr Entwisle is heard telling his colleagues: "I think the easiest way to put it is that the company is hanging by a thread. The situation is dire.

"If we don't have a good summer next summer and make a considerable amount of money, we really are going to be out of a job."

The warning was part of a presentation from union officials during negotiations to save jobs at the airline.

An easyJet aircraft preparing for take-off

Balpa claimed it had reached agreement with easyJet to avoid any compulsory redundancies, with 1,500 pilots opting for part-time working.

Earlier this year, the airline announced it was closing its bases at Newcastle and two London airports, Southend and Stansted, and in May confirmed it was shedding around 4,500 posts across Europe.

However, easyJet hit back claiming the claims were not an accurate reflection of the meeting.

In a statement to the BBC, easyJet said: "The recording does not reflect what easyJet or its chief financial officer said. We have been clear the whole industry has been impacted by the pandemic, however, easyJet has taken a prudent approach to capacity and the right actions on cash preservation.

"The airline continues to keep all liquidity options under review, but no decisions have been taken.

"Winter flying is always significantly lower than summer and easyJet will continue with its prudent and dynamic approach to capacity over the winter. No decisions have been taken and we will update the market in due course."

The pilots' union claim came 12 months after holiday giant Thomas Cook collapsed last September with the loss of 9,000 jobs and leaving thousands of holidaymakers stranded overseas.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 30,000 jobs have been lost at UK airlines, according to the industry body Airlines UK.

There have also been cuts that have been made by airports, baggage handlers, travel agents and tour operators.