Ryanair has welcomed the EU Commission’s decision to approve Ryanair’s proposed acquisition of a 75 per cent interest in Austrian airline Laudamotion which it currently owns 24.9 per cent of.
The Irish carrier has entered into partnership with Niki Lauda to offer competition, lower fares, and more choice for consumers in Austria, Germany, and Spain, which is where the majority of Laudamotion services currently take place.
However, Ryanair had a pop at Lufthansa as said Laudamotion is currently under threat by the German airline group who is attempting to remove the nine aircraft Lufthansa was obliged by the European Commission to provide to Laudamotion in order to allow Laudamotion to restart services.
Ryanair said this is the latest in a series of efforts by Lufthansa to destabilise and damage Laudamotion, which has seen Lufthansa fail to deliver two of the 11 aircraft they were required to under the EU Competition decision concerning Lufthansa’s acquisition of Air Berlin.
And some of the aircraft that Lufthansa had committed to deliver being delayed until after the summer 2018 season, further reducing Laudamotion’s ability to take up slots and offer S2018 flights and services.
The Irish carrier also said Laudamotion only able to operate a 19 aircraft fleet in summer 2018 by wet leasing 10 B737 aircraft from Ryanair, the Lufthansa Group delayed payment of over €1.5m of wet lease payments properly due to Laudamotion, for flights which Laudamotion operated for Lufthansa in March, April and May.
Ryanair added it remains committed to bringing competition and choice to Austrian, German and Spanish markets through this investment in Laudamotion and called on the competition authorities to halt Lufthansa’s repeated abuses of its dominant position, which are designed to harm competition and consumers.
The carrier’s chief legal & regulatory officer, Juliusz Komorek said: “We welcome the EU Commission’s decision to approve Ryanair’s proposed acquisition of a 75% interest in Laudamotion. Ryanair remains committed to bringing competition, choice and low fares to the Austrian, German and Spanish markets through our investment in Laudamotion.
“We urge the EU competition authorities to take action and prevent any further attempts by Lufthansa to damage competition through its anti-consumer behaviour.