Ryanair's Laudamotion has said it would close its main base in Vienna after the transport union refused to accept pay cuts for employees of the carrier hard hit by the coronavirus crisis.

"Lauda deeply regrets the loss of more than 300 jobs for its A320-team and the closing of Lauda's A320 base in Vienna on Friday May 29," the carrier said. 

Ryanair had earlier threatened to close the base if it could not get agreement on salary cuts for Laudamotion employees in Vienna. 

The airline has three other smaller bases - two in Germany, in Dusseldorf and Stuttgart, and one in Palma de Mallorca in Spain.

Vida, a trade union representing workers in the transport and service industries in Austria, refused to agree to a contract that stipulated reduced wages for Laudamotion employees. 

It said the proposed entrance salary for Lauda workers was below the country's guaranteed minimum income. 

Ryanair said earlier this week that its annual profit sank as the coronavirus halted travel. It also cut its annual passenger target by another 20% and said it had no idea how much it would earn this year.

Its group chief executive Michael O'Leary also said this week that its Austrian subsidiary was facing an "existential crisis".

The late Niki Lauda, who founded Laudamotion

Ryanair in recent weeks has warned that the Austrian was underperforming. 

Laudamotion was founded by late Formula One legend Niki Lauda, and Ryanair bought it in 2018. Lauda died a year ago at age 70.