A few days ago, Austrian Airlines announced that the government-secured loan that was granted in the wake of the corona pandemic will be repaid early. This has now lured the competitor Ryanair out of the reserve. In a media release, he taunts AUA and accuses them of drastically increasing prices.
The low-cost airline is also alluding to a current advertising campaign, because the Austrian airline is currently advertising with "Thank you Austria" and a 25 percent discount on selected routes. In this context, Ryanair is demanding that Austrian Airlines “repay the state aid immediately” and “also reduce its very high fares on the recently announced new routes”.
“While Ryanair continues to invest in and expand operations in Vienna without receiving a single euro in state aid, Austrian Airlines only survived the pandemic thanks to €600 million in state aid from the Austrian government and its German parent company Lufthansa . Despite this aid, Austrian Airlines has continued to cut jobs, cancel routes and further increase its already high fares. Recently, Austrian Airlines announced that it would repay the state aid to the Austrian government “early”, but not before the end of 2022. If Austrian Airlines is serious about saying thank you to Austrian taxpayers, then it should return these funds immediately, next week or at the latest at the end of November to the Austrian taxpayers,” said the low-cost airline in a press release.
Furthermore, Ryanair points out that the new additions announced last week are already being served by the low-cost airline. It is claimed that the low-cost airline would serve them more frequently and have lower fares. “On the Vienna-Porto route, for example, Ryanair offers six weekly flights with prices starting at €24,99, while Austrian Airlines offers only three flights, but their prices start at over €75, more than three times the low Ryanair tariffs”, according to the Irish low coster.
"If Austrian Airlines, the Lufthansa subsidiary, were serious about saying 'Thank you Austria', they would offer Austrian residents and visitors the same low fares as Ryanair. Unfortunately, Austrian Airlines, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, only survived the pandemic thanks to €600m in state aid from beleaguered Austrian taxpayers and German parent company Lufthansa. Austrian Airlines is rewarding these taxpayers by opening five new routes in S23, all served at a lower frequency and at more than three times the price of Ryanair. The Austrian residents and visitors don't need such expensive “thank yous” from Lufthansa Group, they need lower fares and more competitive prices. Ryanair continues to grow strongly in Vienna because we are the only airline in Austria that offers low fares, high frequencies and on-time flights. Vienna residents and visitors can continue to enjoy Ryanair's low fares in Vienna without paying a single euro in Austrian subsidies. Lufthansa offers high fares with high Austrian subsidies, Ryanair offers low fares with no subsidies. Next summer Ryanair will offer 76 routes to/from Vienna, with 19 based aircraft, and all these routes will guarantee lower prices and more punctual flights than Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines. The future of Austrian air traffic and tourism lies with Ryanair, not with the state-subsidized Lufthansa subsidiaries," explains Andreas Gruber for Ryanair.