New Austrian Low-Cost Airline Laudamotion has made a series  of announcements, during a Press Conference, in Vienna, on the 29th of August 2018.

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The airline plans to double their fleet from 9 Airbus aircraft to 18 in 2019, and aims to have 30 by the end of 2020. They also unveiled a new livery, which is similar to its Irish counterpart, Ryanair.

Ryanair has also announced they have finished acquiring a 75% stake in the carrier from Niki Lauda, who founded the airliner after the demise of Air Berlin and Niki at the end of 2017.

Laudamotion also confirmed the delivery dates of these aircraft, so they can manage their growth plans, over the next year.

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One of the biggest announcements to come from the press conference was a pay increase for its pilots, as well as basic pay guarantees.

These pay rates are higher than Wizzair, Level & Eurowings according to Laudamotion.

A captain’s basic starting salary would be €90,000 per annum, whilst the basic starting rate for first officers will be €46,000 per annum.

They also announced the introduction of a winter roster for its pilots, with 5 days on and 3 days off, which is technically a bank holiday every weekend.

On top of this, they announced the appointment of a new Personnel Director Christian Euler Rolle, who will start on the 1st of September 2018.

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Laudamotion’s CEO, Andreas Gruber had this to say:

“Laudamotion now faces the future with great confidence, 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% in its first summer season, thanks to the efforts of over 500 Laudamotion colleagues. These 9 additional 2019 Airbus deliveries ensure that Laudamotion will grow again by at least 20% in 2019 to 5m guests p.a.”

David O’Brien, Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, David O’Brien, added:

“Ryanair is pleased to complete the purchase of a 75% shareholding in Laudamotion GmbH from Niki Lauda and his team. We applaud the extraordinary work of Niki Lauda, Andreas Gruber and all the Laudamotion team in the face of very difficult market circumstances and unfair competitor activity to deliver this flying programme this summer, which has provided low fares for the first time ever on over 53 routes. We look forward to fulfilling Niki Lauda’s vision of Laudamotion as Austria’s No.1 low fare airline and providing competition and choice to the high fare airlines which have for too long fleeced the Austrian and German consumers/visitors. We also wish Niki a very speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back as soon as possible.”

With this recent announcement, it shows that the competition is only going to heat up over the next few months. LEVEL, Wizzair, Eurowings and Easyjet have all announced expansion plans for Austria.

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The expansion from all 5 will bring cheaper flights to Austria and will open up the country further to both its residents and tourists.

The competition is only going to get more fierce as time goes on, interesting times ahead within the Austrian Aviation Industry.