Ryanair today (12 July) welcomed the EU Commission’s decision to approve Ryanair’s proposed acquisition of a 75% interest in Austrian airline, Laudamotion (Ryanair currently owns 24.9%). Ryanair has entered into partnership with Niki Lauda to offer competition, lower fares, and more choice for consumers in Austria, Germany, and Spain, which is where the majority of Laudamotion services currently take place.
However, Laudamotion is currently under threat by Lufthansa who are attempting to remove the 9 aircraft Lufthansa was obliged by the European Commission to provide to Laudamotion in order to allow Laudamotion to restart services.
This is the latest in a series of efforts by Lufthansa to destabilise and damage Laudamotion, which has seen:
Lufthansa fail to deliver 2 of the 11 aircraft they were required to under the EU Competition decision concerning Lufthansa’s acquisition of Air Berlin.
Some of the aircraft that Lufthansa had committed to deliver being delayed until after the summer 2018 season, further reducing Laudamotion’s ability to take up slots and offer S2018 flights and services.
Laudamotion only able to operate a 19 aircraft fleet in summer 2018 by wet leasing 10 B737 aircraft from Ryanair.
Lufthansa Group delay payment of over €1.5m of wet lease payments properly due to Laudamotion, for flights which Laudamotion operated for Lufthansa in March, April and May.
Ryanair remains committed to bringing competition and choice to Austrian, German and Spanish markets through this investment in Laudamotion and called on the competition authorities to halt Lufthansa’s repeated abuses of its dominant position, which are designed to harm competition and consumers.
Ryanair’s Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer, Juliusz Komorek said:
“We welcome the EU Commission’s decision to approve Ryanair’s proposed acquisition of a 75% interest in Laudamotion. Ryanair remains committed to bringing competition, choice and low fares to the Austrian, German and Spanish markets through our investment in Laudamotion. We urge the EU competition authorities to take action and prevent any further attempts by Lufthansa to damage competition through its anti-consumer behaviour.”