Ryanair announced today that it has entered into a binding agreement with Mr Niki Lauda to support his plan to develop and grow Laudamotion GmbH, an Austrian Airline based in Vienna.
Laudamotion is an Austrian AOC holder owned by Niki Lauda, which has recently acquired many of the assets, including A320 aircraft, of the former Niki Airline, and will shortly start a range of scheduled and charter services from Germany, Austria and Switzerland primarily to Mediterranean leisure destinations.
Under this agreement, Ryanair will acquire an initial 24.9% stake in Laudamotion and this will rise as soon as possible to 75% subject to EU Competition approval. Niki Lauda will chair the Board of the airline and oversee the implementation of his strategy to build a successful Austrian low fares airline. Ryanair will provide financial and management support to LaudaMotion as well as 6 wet-lease aircraft for S2018 to enable LaudaMotion to complete an extensive 21 aircraft flying program.
The cost of this 75% investment in Laudamotion (if approved by the EU) will be less than €50m although Ryanair will provide an additional €50m for year 1 start-up and operating costs. Both Mr Lauda and Ryanair will work with the existing management team of Laudamotion and expect the airline to reach profitability by year 3 of operations if their plan to grow the business to a fleet of at least 30 Airbus aircraft is successful.