Ryanair positions for total Laudamotion ownership

Ryanair, which is looking to get European Union regulatory approval in the coming weeks for the acquisition of a 75% stake in Laudamotion (Austria), now has an option to take full ownership of the airline in four years’ time.

The Irish carrier has also committed to invest another US$23.4 million in the rebranded former Niki airline, acquired by its original founder and former racing driver Niki Lauda following the demise of Air Berlin. The extra cash is to help smooth the transition and ensure Laudamotion can deal with the recent sustained rise in oil prices and attain profitability within a targeted three years.

Ryanair agreed in March to take an initial 24.9% stake in the Austrian carrier, with plans to increase that to 75% with the requisite approvals.

Laudamotion is also now flying from Vienna in addition to its flights from Germany and Switzerland to mainly European tourist destinations. It will have four aircraft stationed in Vienna for the summer season and plans to double that for the winter season.

Ryanair has also reported that its own passenger traffic in May grew 6% to 12.5 million customers, with the load factor rising 1% to 96%. The total rolling annual traffic figure grew 8% to 132.1 million customers.

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