Having posted a EUR185 million euro (USD218 million) net loss in the second quarter of 2020 with a 99% drop in the number of passengers flown, Ryanair Holdings is currently evaluating the closure of more bases where negotiations with labour unions have not produced a favourable outcome, Group Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said during a quarterly earnings call.

"In Ryanair, we have been unsuccessful in persuading German pilots to agree to pay cuts. So we’ve announced the closure of Stuttgart Manfred Rommel, Berlin Tegel, Düsseldorf Weeze, and Frankfurt Hahn. At the end of the summer schedule, Lauda is closing its Stuttgart base. We’re also looking, I think, at some base closures in Spain, where at the moment the unions have not yet agreed to the pay cuts we need," O'Leary said.

He added that there it was "inevitable" there would be some base closures in Italy, where he blamed both the unions and the government, which was, allegedly, "trying to impose Alitalia's pay rates and business productivity on other airlines and other airports".

At the end of the second quarter of 2020, Ryanair Group had 79 bases across Europe and North Africa.

Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan underlined that the group would also be shifting an increasing amount of operations to its subsidiaries - Buzz (RR, Warsaw Modlin) in Central/Eastern Europe and Malta Air (AL, Malta Int'l) in other markets. Both airlines will be increasing their fleets, which they operate on behalf of Ryanair. O'Leary admitted that Buzz's development had also been affected by the closure of some key charter markets, such as Turkey, given that the airline also operates leisure charters besides scheduled flights.

"They clearly had a difficult first quarter on the back of the groundings. Buzz, at the moment, has just under 50 aircraft in its fleet and continues to take over operations for the Ryanair Group in Central and Eastern Europe, and we hope to take on a couple more bases this winter... Malta Air now has 120 B737s in its fleet, and it is actively involved in cost negotiations with its people across the various markets that we operate in. And we would, again, hope that Malta Air will take on more of our operations over the coming years and months," Sorahan said.