The Austrian airline is indeed saved. But Lauda receives a completely new role and shrinks.
Drawing of a Lauda aircraft: The brand stays, the purpose is different.
At the beginning of the year Michael O’Leary was still full of confidence. Negotiations were underway with Airbus for an order of up to 100 A320s and A321s, explained the CEO of Ryanair. With this he wanted to strengthen the Austrian subsidiary Lauda.
Times long gone. As Lauda announced on Thursday (June, 18), the future fleet is shrinking significantly. Instead of the planned 38 aircraft, there will only be 30. In Vienna there will be only 10 instead of 16. And above all: «Future A320 deliveries have been cancelled and existing leasing contracts renegotiated.»
Similar role to Malta Air
This makes it clear: the last-minute rescue keeps Lauda alive, but it does not save her. But the airline is now only a shadow of its former self. It is becoming a wet-lease provider for the Ryanair group, she explains in the press release. This gives it a role similar to that of the Ryanair subsidiaries Malta Air or Buzz.
However, the brand image will be retained. As part of the realignment, twelve pilots and 82 flight attendants who did not sign the new collective agreement will be dismissed.
Better than Level
After all: Her competitor Level gives up completely in Vienna. The IAG subsidiary has ceased operations and is filing for insolvency.