After pilots based in Germany rejected a pay cut, the airline responded by doing what it had said it would during negotiations, announcing the closure of its base at Frankfurt Hahn airport. UK-based pilots and flight crew recently agreed a pay cut in order to avoid job losses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ryanair bases at Berlin Tegel and Dusseldorf airports may also close by the end of the summer, the airline said ion a memo to staff.

“We must move on with alternative measures to deliver savings, which regrettably will mean base closures and dismissals,” Ryanair said in its memo to German pilots.

The German airline union Vereinigung Cockpit said that fewer than half of its members were in favour of the pay deal. “We believe the agreement would have the potential to harm the entire pilot community across Germany,” it said.

Ryanair said: “It is bizarre that the union canvassed against the deal knowing full well that the result would be base closures and job losses.” The airline added that if there is a resurgence of the virus and further travel restrictions, more lay-offs will follow.

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair planes are seen at Dublin Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Dublin, Ireland, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo