The Ryanair subsidiary Lauda is changing its citizenship, so to speak, because the company will be in the air with Maltese AOC and OL in the future. For this purpose, under the name Lauda Europe Ltd. a new airline founded, which will take over the activities of the previous Laudamotion GmbH in the course of 2020. Company boss David O'Brien confirmed this in an interview with Aviation.Direct.
Today's Laudamotion GmbH will receive its Austrian certificates and approvals after the establishment of Lauda Europe Ltd. has been completed. return and is then closed. The Maltese company will operate the Airbus fleet. This also means that the OE registrations on the aircraft will be replaced by 9H (Malta). The headquarters of the new Ryanair subsidiary will be on the Maltese islands. The nominated persons (formerly postholders) will also work there. A small branch will remain in Austria, which will take care of some flight-related matters. This also means that administrative employees have the option of transferring to Lauda Europe Ltd. will give.
Lauda Europe Ltd. plans to carry out the first flight in November 2020. The managing directors David O'Brien and Andreas Gruber will in future be active in both Malta and Schwechat and will have their own desks. David O'Brien emphasized that Lauda Europe Ltd. will take over the entire Airbus operation of today's Laudamotion GmbH and today's Austrian company will be closed after the transition process has been completed.
For flight personnel, the change in AOC means that those employees who have accepted the new Lauda collective agreement (Austria) will find a new job at Lauda Europe Ltd. get offered. For legal reasons, OCC training courses must be carried out for the new AOC.
Lauda CEO David O'Brien told Aviation.Direct that the move to a Maltese AOC would have benefits for employees. In future, income taxes will be paid at the location of the respective base and no longer in Vienna. This has a particular effect on the Düsseldorf base and in Palma de Mallorca, as they have so far paid their wage tax in Austria. Due to the Maltese legal situation, social security contributions and taxes are not paid at the home base (in future Luqa), but at the respective location of the station (e.g. Düsseldorf, Vienna, Palma).
This would bring financial advantages for many employees and minimize the work involved in so-called double taxation agreements. Lauda Europe Ltd. should grow again in the next few years and open new bases. David O'Brien does not look into the cards and points out that no short-term expansion steps are currently to be expected due to the COVID-19 situation. New bases will therefore be opened more in the summer of 2021, for example in Zadar. Due to the corona pandemic, this base was canceled for 2020 and postponed to the coming year. The future Croatian employees would therefore not pay their wage tax in Austria, but in Croatia, which could be cheaper in individual cases.
When asked about the Stuttgart base, David O'Brien said that it was a shame that it had to be closed. He accused the pilots of living in an Air Berlin world and not having understood that Air Berlin no longer exists. Ryanair will take over those routes that are profitable from other bases. However, there was a clear rejection for the Vienna-Stuttgart route. "Maybe we will resume this in a few years when Lufthansa is broke again," said O'Brien.