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Leaving Austria

Lauda is relocating from Vienna to Malta

Ryanair withdraws its subsidiary Lauda from Vienna and rebuilds it in Malta. The operation is to be transferred to the new Lauda Europe by 2020.

In June 2019, Ryanair announced the establishment of a subsidiary in Malta. Malta Air will grow from six to ten own aircraft in the coming years, it was said at the time. In addition, 50 aircraft previously registered in Germany, France and Italy were supposed to  be transferred to the new airline’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC).

That was an understatement. Today there are about 120 Ryanair aircraft registered through Malta Air. The German pilots are employed through the Maltese subsidiary.

Another subsidiary in Malta

Now Ryanair is shifting even more parts of its business to the tax-efficient island state in the Mediterranean: Austrian subsidiary Lauda is moving to Malta. Until now it has been based in Vienna and is officially called Laudamotion GmbH.

Lauda Europe, which will take over the business, was founded in Malta for this purpose. The authorities there have already received an application for a new AOC under which Lauda’s Airbus A320 fleet will be operated in future, as can be seen in Lauda documents available to aeroTELEGRAPH.

Problem with Austrian tax law

Lauda Europe should be operational by November and Laudamotion will cease operations before the end of the year. In one of the documents, Lauda bosses Andreas Gruber and David O’Brien refer to Austrian tax law as a justification.

All crews are subject to this tax law, no matter where they are stationed, according to the directors. With Lauda in Malta they are more flexible. If you open stations in Europe, the employees will pay taxes in the countries where they are stationed. This also applies to the employees currently based in Düsseldorf and Mallorca.

Employees to remain on board

The heads of Lauda write to their own crews, telling them that those who agreed to the most recently negotiated new contracts are being offered a job at Lauda Europe. The  newssite Aviation Net Online reports that the employees in administration should also be given corresponding opportunities. However, the head office will move to Malta and only a small branch office will remain in Vienna.

In the wage dispute with the trade union Vida, Ryanair had already threatened Lauda’s withdrawal from Vienna at the end of May. An agreement was finally reached at the beginning of June.

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