Started just over two years ago as a “second brand” and pushed with a lot of money, but now the Lauda brand is over. In future you will only fly wet leases and many employees will soon be leaving their jobs.
The Ryanair Group buries the scheduled flights on account of the subsidiary Lauda and thus also the brand of the offshoot to Stuttgart and Düsseldorf in Vienna. All connections from the Austrian capital are now offered under the FR code.
Those that are still carried out by Lauda within the framework of a wet lease agreement are marked with the note "operated by Lauda". This does not currently apply to some non-Schengen destinations, for which Ryanair itself has to obtain approval. An example of this is Kiev-Boryspil. Destinations such as Beirut can be booked from the winter flight schedule. For reasons of aviation law, the use of the OE code is required, although the inclusion appears extremely questionable. The Turkey routes, for which Lauda flight numbers would also have to be flown, have meanwhile been canceled without replacement.
The Lauda brand, which Ryanair pushed as a "second brand" at great expense, particularly in Austria, Germany and Mallorca, is thus being given up. Ryanair will obviously rely on the single-brand strategy again in the future. In the future, Lauda will only be a wet lease operator, which will fly on behalf of Ryanair, following the example of Buzz and Malta Air. This also has a significant impact on the headquarters in Schwechat.
All Austrian Lauda employees are currently registered with the Lower Austria Labor Market Service for dismissal. The notification that was sent in the struggle for the collective agreement has not yet been withdrawn. So far, no employee has actually been given notice of termination, but due to the end of short-time work, they are still subject to the so-called retention obligation, which expires next week. Internal circulars indicate that not all employees may be retained. In particular, those who did not give their consent to the new collective agreement were made aware of this in personal letters from the HR department. Formal terminations have not yet been distributed.
The company also does not want to comment on the abandonment of the Lauda brand and points out that the final decision will not be made until next week in Dublin. In view of the fact that the Lauda fire in Stuttgart and Düsseldorf has already been crushed and Ryanair has meanwhile also created facts in Vienna by changing the flight numbers, the cancellations are likely to be distributed in the next few days. It is currently unknown how many Lauda employees are affected.
Officially, all flights from Vienna will be marketed as Ryanair connections in the future. Those that are carried out by Lauda as part of the wet lease contract are marked in the reservation system with "operated by Lauda". The A320 fleet, which is to be increased to 30 planes, will not be repainted in Ryanair's colors. The flying personnel will also continue to wear Lauda uniforms and those of the parent company.
Boeing 737-Max-200s are already in Renton, painted in the colors of Buzz and Malta Air, but according to current information there will be no real use of the two brands. Only a few aircraft will wear this livery and thus literally represent “special paintwork” within the FR group fleet. Michael O'Leary announced a few weeks ago that Lauda would also be switched to Boeing 737. According to Lauda management, this is not a short-term issue, but in five to six years, if at all, when the leasing contracts expire.