Ryanair has declared war on Lufthansa for hampering Laudamotion deal.
The pretext is the European Commission’s green light to the proposal for the acquisition of 75% of Laudamotion – an Austrian airline based in the Concorde Business Park in Schwechat, Austria, near Vienna, but Ryanair’s (which already holds 24.9% of Niki Lauda’s Austrian carrier) latest official communication goes beyond that.
Lufthansa is in the Ryanair’s crosshairs, blamed for “threats” and “abuse” from the top of its “dominant position.”
The Irish low-cost carrier, led by Michael O’Leary, some time ago, after the Brussels meeting of Airlines 4 Europe, defined Carsten Spohr, CEO of the German Group “the dear enemy.”
“Lufthansa – reads Ryanair’s note – is trying to remove the 9 aircraft that it was forced to provide to Laudamotion by the European Commission, to allow it to restart its services”.
This, states O’Leary, is only the latest in a series of moves to “destabilize and damage” Laudamotion.
Ryanair promptly listed said actions in a statement: “Lufthansa has not delivered two of the 11 aircraft required, following the decision of the European competition authorities, concerning the acquisition of airberlin by Lufthansa; some of the aircraft Lufthansa has committed to deliver will be delayed until after the summer season, further reducing Laudamotion’s ability to occupy slots and offer flights and services in the summer of 2018.”
“Laudamotion will have the possibility to manage a fleet of only 19 aircraft in the summer of 2018, 10 of which are Boeing 737 aircraft, leased by Ryanair. Lufthansa Group has also delayed the payment of over 1.5 million euros of the wet lease (crewed rental), due to Laudamotion, for flights that the Austrian airline operated for Lufthansa in March, April and May.”
The grievance list, compiled by O’Leary, ends with a commitment to “promote competition and choice on the Austrian, German and Spanish markets through this investment in Laudamotion” and with a plea to the Competition Authorities “to stop the repeated abuses that Lufthansa commits in its dominant position and which are aimed at damaging competition and consumers.”