Austrian low-cost airline Laudamotion has announced it will double its Airbus fleet from nine to 18 aircraft in 2019, which will feature a new livery.
The carrier has confirmed delivery dates for nine additional A320s for summer 2019 following Ryanair’s purchase of a 75 per cent stake from owner Niki Lauda in August.
Ryanair previously accused Lufthansa of trying to ‘destabilise’ Laudamotion after it alleged the group failed to deliver aircraft promised to the new airline as part of a deal with the European Commission to meet competition guidelines to buy the remaining assets of Air Berlin.
Lufthansa claims Laudamotion had failed to make lease payments on its existing aircraft, which is why it chose to terminate the contract with Laudamotion and instead use the aircraft for its own Eurowings carrier.
Laudamotion says the new aircraft livery reflects its ‘Austrian heritage’, prominently featuring its branding in large red letters against a white background.
The airline is also opening a new office in Vienna to accommodate more staff.
Pilots have already been offered pay increases, basic pay guarantees and a roster of five days on and three days off.
The announcement on pilot pay comes after Ryanair broke weeks of disputes with Irish pilots over a number of demands by agreeing a new deal with the Forsa union, which is being voted on by union members. Pilots in Italy have accepted a similar offer.
Laudamotion will also get a new personnel director, Christian Rolle, who starts on 1 September.
Andreas Gruber, CEO of Laudamotion, commented: “Laudamotion now faces the future with great confidence, backed by the enormous financial strength of Ryanair... These nine additional 2019 Airbus deliveries ensure that Laudamotion will grow again by at least 20 per cent in 2019 to five million guests per year. We look forward to offering even more low-fare choices to Austrian and German customers.”