Vienna: Michael O'Leary predicts closure of the Wizz base

Michael O'Leary in Vienna (Photo: Jan Gruber).
Michael O'Leary in Vienna (Photo: Jan Gruber).

Vienna: Michael O'Leary predicts closure of the Wizz base

Michael O'Leary in Vienna (Photo: Jan Gruber).
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The low-cost airline Ryanair intends to serve a total of 2022 destinations from Vienna-Schwechat in the summer flight schedule of 90. The number of stationed aircraft is to be increased by five to 19.

At a press conference, Ryanair announced nine “new” routes, but almost all destinations are not really news, they have been known for a long time or have been repeatedly postponed due to the corona pandemic. According to the airline, Amman, Kosice, Lamezia Terme, Manchester, Perugia, Pula, Rimini, Stockholm-Arlanda and Venice Marco Polo will be new in the summer flight schedule of 2022.

With regard to Stockholm, the situation is that Ryanair is moving the connection from Skavsta to Arlanda. The airport is changed, but the target region remains the same, which is why it is not really a “new route”. The competitor Wizz Air will continue to fly to Skavsta Airport.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said that around 500 million US dollars will be invested in Vienna and that 200 jobs will be created. During the Laudamotion, which was discontinued in the previous year, a three-digit number of employees was cut in several steps. In the summer flight schedule of 2022, Ryanair intends to deploy a total of 19 aircraft from Vienna-Schwechat. The number of employees at the Ryanair airlines operating in Vienna is expected to increase to 650 employees. According to MIchael O'Leary, the Austrian airport is among the ten strongest in the route network.

Michael O'Leary intends to proceed against the state aid granted to Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines and stated that an appeal has been lodged against the decisions of the General Court of the European Union. He compared the fact that Austria only supported one airline with North Korea.

“We are investing in Vienna at a time when other airlines are making cuts. We love Austria and will continue to grow here. Austrian Airlines is dismantling and canceling routes, we are generating new ones, ”says O'Leary. “The good news is that the subsidized high-fare airlines are shrinking”.

Machines are to be operated by Buzz and Lauda Europe

When asked who will operate the five additional aircraft in Vienna, the manager replied that, according to the current state of planning, they should be split between Lauda Europe and Buzz. “We may also bring the first game changers from Buzz to Vienna in the summer of 2022. Lauda will fly the A320 and Buzz Boeings, ”said O'Leary. “We are not currently negotiating with Airbus. The prices are currently too high ”.

However, the Ryanair Group boss also says that Lauda Europe should not be reloaded to the Boeing 737 MAx 200. “No, I cannot confirm that Lauda Europe will switch to Boeing. It stays with AIrbus, ”says Michael O'Leary. When asked whether the United Aircraft Corporation has already called, because it is said that they sense a chance that the MS-21 can be accommodated with the Ryanair Group. “In no case will we take this Irkut MS-21, even if they are put up for free. This aircraft is rubbish and parts supply is an adventure. I can only say: Do not trust the Russians ”.

Michael O'Leary presents his growth plans (Photo: Jan Gruber).

Laudamotion check-in fees: appeal to the ECJ

There is a remarkable development on another front, as O'Leary stated that the subsidiary Laudamotion GmbH will fight the Supreme Court ruling on the toppled check-in fee before the ECJ.

Michael O'Leary also pointed out that, in his view, the verdict is toothless. You respect it of course, but Laudamotion is no longer an airline and therefore it should hardly have any impact. Nevertheless: "We are of the opinion that a national court cannot override EU law and that is why we appeal to the European Court of Justice," said O'Leary.

The corona crisis hit the subsidiary Laudamotion hard and therefore a tough restructuring had to be resorted to. The former carrier flew in around two million euros in loss per week. The Lauda brand will continue to be used, which also means that repainting is not planned.

Michael O'Leary categorically rules out a short-term re-fleet to Boeing 737 and points out that the leasing contracts for the A320 fleet will run for a few more years and if the prices are right, a replacement will be ordered. “Lauda Europe should continue to be Airbus, but the price has to be right,” said Michael O'Leary. “The fleet renewal that Lauda is due to have in a few years will definitely not be cheap. Regardless of whether Airbus or Boeing, planes are expensive ”:

The Ryanair manager could not resist several pejorative comments against the competitors Wizz Air and Austrian Airlines. For example, he predicts the Hungarian competitor that it will close its Vienna base and that Austrian Airlines will shrink. "We have more short-haul destinations than AUA in the next summer flight schedule," said O'Leary. “Ryanair is growing in Vienna, the AUA is getting smaller and smaller”.

Michael O'Leary in Vienna (Photo: Jan Gruber).

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Editor of this article:

Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

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About the editor

Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

Nobody likes paywalls
- not even Aviation.Direct!

Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

In doing so, you support the journalistic work of our independent specialist portal for aviation, travel and tourism with a focus on the DA-CH region voluntarily without a paywall requirement.

If you did not like the article, we look forward to your constructive criticism and / or your suggestions for improvement, either directly to the editor or to the team at with this link or alternatively via the comments.

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