Laudamotion, formerly named Amira Air and the airline of ex Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda, whose acquisition of 75% by Ryanair has just been finalized, announced expansion plans that foresee for the summer 2019 the doubling of its fleet from 9 to 18 Airbus A320.
The intention of the airline is to face Lufthansa on the German market and also on the Austrian and Swiss fronts as well.The air carrier has also announced a series of initiatives to support the relaunch.
First is the introduction of a new livery that, in terms of graphics and values, recalls the Austrian heritage of Laudamotion. Next, new offices in Vienna where the company’s employees will be based, promises to be “more numerous, better paid, and with a high level of professionalism.”
Lauda also ensures an increase in salaries to drivers along with more basic guarantees, such as the salary of a captain starting at 90,000 euros a year – more than Wizzair at 56,000 and Eurowings at 78,000. The salary, including the flight allowance, will be up to 180,000 euros a year.
There will also be a higher salary for the first officers, who will earn between 46,000 and 70,000 euros a year. For all employees, Laudamotion announces a stable winter roster of 5 consecutive days of work with 3 days of rest. On the first of September, the new staff director, Christian Euler, will supervise on the innovations.
Communications came directly from Vienna, thanks to the CEO of Laudamotion, Andreas Gruber: “We look to the future with confidence thanks to Ryanair’s financial strength. In the first summer operating season, we have already achieved load factors of over 90%. With the delivery of the 9 new aircraft in 2019, we expect to increase traffic results by 20%, reaching 5 million passengers transported in a year. We aim to further strengthen the low-cost offer for customers in Austria and Germany.”
For his part, David O’Brien, chief commercial officer of Ryanair, expressed words of praise for “the extraordinary work” carried out by the Lauda team, which in “complex market circumstances and despite the unfair competition of the competitors managed to offer this summer over 53 low-cost routes.”
The business recovery of Ryanair
Ryanair announced passenger traffic data for the month of August. Total passenger traffic increased by 9% to 13.8 million customers with a coverage factor of 97%. Furthermore, it increased by 5% to 13.3 million customers with a fill factor of 97%. The passenger volume of Laudamotion of 500 thousand customers with a fill factor of 92%. The shortage of ATC personnel (air traffic controllers) and an unnecessary strike by pilots on August 10 caused the cancellation of about 550 flights in August, compared to only 27 flights canceled in August 2017.
Kenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing Officer of Ryanair, said: “Ryanair’s traffic in August (which for the first time includes Laudamotion traffic) grew by 9% for a total of 13.8 million customers, while our Filling coefficient remained stable at 97%, thanks to lower and lower rates.
“Unfortunately, over 100,000 Ryanair customers in August were involved in cancellations caused by the continuing shortage of ATC personnel in the UK, Germany, and France and by an unnecessary day of strike. Ryanair, together with other European airlines, urges immediate action by the European Commission and European Governments to address the effects of the shortage of ATC personnel, which created this summer inconvenience for the travel plans of millions of European consumers.”