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Laudamotion to double fleet in wake of Ryanair deal

The Austrian low-cost carrier will acquire additional Airbus planes as Ryanair buys a 75% stake in the company.

Fresh from Ryanair’s purchase of a 75% stake in the company, the Austrian low-cost airline Laudamotion founded by Formula One champion Niki Lauda now plans to double its fleet by next summer.

EU regulators recently gave the Irish airline the go-ahead to buy the majority stake, in which it intends to invest €100 million.

Laudamotion confirms that it will acquire nine new A320 aircraft next summer, doubling the size of its fleet from nine to 18.

It also says it intends to raise pilots’ pay, giving captains a guaranteed starting basic salary of €90,000 a year, increasing to €180,000 including allowances, the Irish Times reports. First officers will get a guaranteed starting salary of €46,000, rising to €70,000.

Seats sold
Laudamotion has sold 90% of the available seats on its aircraft over the summer, noted Andreas Gruber, its chief executive.

“These nine additional 2019 Airbus deliveries ensure that Laudamotion will grow again by at least 20% to five million guests per annum,” he 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.”

Gruber presented Laudamotion’s new livery, which consists of large red letters forming the name Lauda across a white aircraft. But the new logo of the company includes the entire name of Laudamotion.

David O’Brien, Ryanair’s chief commercial officer, added that his airline was “pleased to complete the purchase” of 75% of Laudamotion.

“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.”

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