Ryanair has finally completed its full acquisition of Austrian low-cost carrier LaudaMotion, and has pledged to significantly grow its fleet and passenger numbers.
The no-frills airline announced on Tuesday morning (January 29) it had acquired the remaining 25% shareholding in LaudaMotion from NL Holdings after taking an initial 25% back in March.
Austrian AOC holder LaudaMotion was founded by Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda after he acquired many of the assets of the former Niki airline.
On Tuesday, Ryanair pledged to expand the LaudaMotion fleet, grow its passenger numbers and add a range of new routes, starting this summer.
LaudaMotion’s fleet will grow to 24 aircraft in summer 2019 and 30 by summer 2020.
This summer, LaudaMotion will base eight aircraft in Vienna, seven in Dusseldorf, three in Stuttgart and two in Palma. During the winter, its Vienna base will increase to 11 aircraft.
Traffic, meanwhile, will increase from four million in year one to six million in year two and 7.5 million by March 2021, with an eventual three-year goal of achieving 10 million passengers.
Up to 20 new routes will be announced over the coming months. The deal will also create 400 new pilot, cabin crew and engineering jobs.
Andreas Gruber, LaudaMotion chief executive, said: “With the backing of Ryanair, Laudamotion is set to grow strongly over the next three years to carry 10 million passengers per annum.
“We will release details of up to 20 new routes for winter 2019 once we have completed our airport and handling negotiations by the end of March.
“Our summer 2019 program will allow us to carry six million passengers in year two, a growth rate of 50% over the four million carried in year one, as we continue to offer our customers in Vienna, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf and Palma the lowest air fares on a fleet of young Airbus aircraft with widespread passenger appeal and great Lauda service.”