Laudamotion goes for growth after Ryanair acquisition

Austrian low-fare airline Laudamotion is now officially 75%-owned by Ireland’s Ryanair after the completion of the shareholder transaction first revealed earlier this summer, with plans to grow passenger numbers by at least 20% next year.

Laudamotion will also be doubling its Airbus fleet from nine to 18 aircraft in the summer of next year, with nine A320s due for delivery in 2019 following the deal’s completion. It will also be sporting a new aircraft livery to reflect the carrier’s Austrian heritage, it says, along with establishing new offices in Vienna.

There will also be pilot pay increases and basic pay guarantees, with a guaranteed Captain starting basic pay rate of €90,000 per year, with that rate rising to up to €180,000 in total, it says, including flight pay and allowances. Guaranteed First Officer starting basic pay will be €46,000 yearly, and up to €70,000 in total including flight pay.

Laudamotion’s CEO, Andreas Gruber, said: “Laudamotion now faces the future with great confidence, backed by the enormous financial strength of Ryanair, our new majority shareholder and Europe’s largest airline. Laudamotion has already achieved load factors over 90% in its first summer season, thanks to the efforts of over 500 Laudamotion colleagues.

“These nine additional 2019 Airbus deliveries ensure that Laudamotion will grow again by at least 20% in 2019 to 5 million guests per annum. We look forward to offering even more low fare choices to Austrian and German customers.”

Ryanair’s chief commercial officer, David O’Brien, added: “Ryanair is pleased to complete the purchase of a 75% shareholding in Laudamotion GmbH from Niki Lauda and his team. We applaud the extraordinary work of Niki Lauda, Andreas Gruber and all the Laudamotion team in the face of very difficult market circumstances and unfair competitor activity to deliver this flying programme this summer, which has provided low fares for the first time ever on over 53 routes.

“We look forward to fulfilling Niki Lauda’s vision of Laudamotion as Austria’s No.1 low-fare airline and providing competition and choice to the high fare airlines which have for too long fleeced Austrian and German consumers and visitors.”

[Photo: Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary (left) and LaudaMotion CEO Andreas Gruber give the deal the thumbs up.]

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