Ryanair’s Lau­damo­tion to add nine jets to fleet for 2019 sea­son

Irish Independent - Business Week - - Front Page - John Mul­li­gan

LAU­DAMO­TION, the Aus­trian low-cost car­rier in which Ryanair has taken a 75pc stake, is to dou­ble its fleet to 18 air­craft for sum­mer 2019.

It raises the stakes in what’s set to be an in­ten­si­fy­ing bat­tle be­tween Aer Lin­gus owner IAG, which re­cently launched a base in Vi­enna for its low­cost Level air­line. That puts it in di­rect com­pe­ti­tion with Lau­damo­tion.

Ear­lier this year, Ryanair ac­quired an ini­tial 24.9pc stake in Lau­damo­tion and re­ceived EU ap­proval this month to raise the stake to 75pc. Ryanair also has an op­tion to buy all of Lau­damo­tion in four years’ time.

The com­mit­ment to add air­craft comes as Lau­damo­tion said it achieved load fac­tors – or the per­cent­age of avail­able seats sold – of more than 90pc in its first sum­mer sea­son. It added that the nine ex­tra air­craft for sum­mer 2019 will see it grow pas­sen­ger num­bers by at least 20pc, to five mil­lion.

Ryanair ex­pects Lau­damo- tion to be prof­itable within three years and to even­tu­ally have a fleet of at least 30 air­craft.

It cur­rently has four jets based at Vi­enna, and has also opened bases at Ber­lin’s Tegel air­port and in Dus­sel­dorf.

Ryanair, headed by Michael O’Leary, is ini­tially in­vest­ing close to €100m in Lau­damo­tion. That in­cludes the price for the 75pc stake and €50m in work­ing cap­i­tal.

Lau­damo­tion is ex­pected to lose €150m in its first year, ac­cord­ing to Ryanair.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary with Lau­damo­tion crew mem­ber Michelle Capelli

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