Laudamotion indeed shuts down Vienna base, 300 jobs lost

22.05.2020 at 17:12

Travel news

Ryanair’s Laudamotion unit will close its Airbus SE A320 base in Vienna, following through on a threat to cut more than 300 jobs after it failed to reach a deal with unions over cost reductions.

The Vienna base, the main hub for the carrier founded by the Formula One racing driver Niki Lauda, will close on May 29th, Ryanair said Friday in a statement blaming the Vida union for the breakdown.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary has been cutting costs to deal with the coronavirus crisis and said he needs to lay off staff and introduce pay cuts, while threatening to shut down Laudamotion if he can’t get costs down.

The carrier also hit out at the Austrian government for failing to step in while it worked on a bail-out package for competitor Deutsche Lufthansa, whose pilots in Austria are also represented by Vida. Ryanair, which acquired Lauda in 2018, had earlier threatened to close the base if a deal wasn’t reached.

Expenses at Lauda remained ahead of the rest of the group, and with Lufthansa’s Austrian arm set to receive some €800 million in support, the operation’s future was in doubt, the carrier said this month.

Lauda’s Vienna base hosts 15 of the airline’s 30 A320s. O’Leary has said he planned to keep Lauda’s other bases in Stuttgart, Dusseldorf and Palma open.

It will be yet to see if this means only defacto rebranding of Laudamotion to Ryanair with 300 lost jobs in Vienna, or if Ryanair will cut also certain routes and flights from the Austrian capital. We certainly hope for the latter.

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