Ryanair announced a doubling in the fleet size of its Laudamotion unit, after it completed its acquisition of 75 percent of the Austrian leisure airline.
Laudamotion will see an additional nine Airbus A320s joining its existing fleet of nine for the summer 2019 travel season.
The Vienna-based airline will also see a number of changes such as a new livery, larger headquarter offices and increased pilot pay.
The livery is designed to “reflect Laudamotion’s Austrian heritage”, and the new offices will “accommodate more, high paid, high quality jobs”, Ryanair said.
Pilots will get new deals, with captains starting on basic pay of EUR€90,000 (USD$105,000), rising to a maximum of €180,000, including flight pay and allowances. First officers will also get a boost, with starting pay of €46,000 rising to a maximum of €70,000 including flight pay.
A new roster is to be introduced, with a five day on, three off pattern during the winter months. The busier summer roster doesn’t appear to be changing.
“Backed by the enormous financial strength of Ryanair, our new majority shareholder and Europe’s largest airline, Laudamotion has already achieved load factors over 90 percent in its first summer season,” the airline’s chief executive Andreas Gruber said.
The nine additional Airbus A320s will ensure growth of at least 20 percent in 2019 to 5 million passengers per year, Gruber added.
Ryanair agreed in March to acquire up to 75 percent of Laudamotion from owner Niki Lauda. The Irish airline initially bought a 24.9 percent stake, with the intention of boosting it to 75 percent, subject to EU Competition approval.