Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) will close its base at Frankfurt Hahn and probably also at Berlin Tegel and Düsseldorf Weeze at the end of the summer, it told its German pilots in a memo on July 21, after the pilots rejected pay cuts it had proposed.

An undisclosed number of pilot job cuts will accompany the closures as the Irish LCC seeks to reduce costs. A small majority of the pilots voted against a deal last week.

"We must move on with alternative measures to deliver savings, which regrettably will mean base closures and dismissals," the airline explained in the memo, as quoted by Reuters.

The airline protested that 70% of its pilots across Europe had already accepted cuts to pay and conditions. It revealed in May that it was about to cut 3,000 jobs across the continent.

It will stop basing aircraft at Frankfurt Hahn from November, it said, while pilots will receive letters about their dismissal this week. Tegel and Düsseldorf "are likely to close" in advance of the winter season, details of which will appear next week. More pilots based at Berlin Schönefeld and Cologne/Bonn will be let go through a collective dismissal process.

Ryanair will achieve further cost cuts by changing rosters, freezing promotions, and transferring bases, it said.

Almost 88% of the pilots represented by Vereinigung Cockpit at Ryanair subsidiary Malta Air (AL, Malta Int'l), which employs the pilots stationed in Germany, took part in the vote last week, 49.4% of whom were in favour of accepting the agreement, the union said in a statement on July 21 before the carrier issued its memo.

The employer had presented the choice as no longer negotiable, the union said, namely that more than 170 pilots in Germany would be sacked if new contracts were not agreed, including "flexible short-time work, remuneration only for hours flown, but at a drastically reduced daily rate and hourly rate and all this while increasing productivity."

Editorial Comment: Corrected introductory paragraph to list Düsseldorf Weeze rather than Düsseldorf Int'l. - 23.07.2020 - 06:22 UTC