Eurowings must reach a cost-structure similar to
easyJet’s, Spohr acknowledged.
LaudaMotion, meanwhile, is also looking to grow rapidly. Te airline will double its Airbus fleet to 18 aircraft
next year, CEO Andreas Gruber said in Vienna in late
August after Ryanair completed a deal to buy 75% of the
Austrian carrier from Lauda.
“Tese nine additional aircraft ensure that LaudaMo-
tion will grow again by at least 20% in 2019 to 5 million
guests per annum,” Gruber said. “LaudaMotion should
become the No. 1 LCC in Austria. LaudaMotion will
not become a second Ryanair and doesn’t have to follow
every move Ryanair is doing.”
He said the additional Airbus aircraft will be mainly
A320ceos, arriving from the largest leasing companies
and would be between 5 and 10 years old. However, he
said Ryanair must invest more money because Lauda-
Motion will lose approximately €150 million ($175 mil-
lion) in its first “very difficult” year, up from a previous
estimate of €100 million, but it should break even in
2019 and turn a profit in 2020.
Gruber said he expects LaudaMotion to carry 3 million passengers this year; the new airline has already
achieved load factors over 90%.
In 2019, besides nine additional Airbus aircraft, six
wet-leased Ryanair Boeing 737-800s will operate for LaudaMotion. Te fleet is projected to grow to 30 Airbus aircraft by 2020 when the leases for the wet-leased Ryanair
aircraft will terminate.
“LaudaMotion now faces the future with great confidence, backed by the enormous financial strength of Ryanair,” Gruber added.
Another rapidly expanding LCC is Iceland’s WOW
Air, which is preparing to go public within the next
18-24 months, the airline’s CEO and founder Skuli
Speaking on a panel at the Aviation Festival in London, Mogensen said going public would strengthen
the airline’s balance sheet and help secure better terms
Moreover, it will support the airline’s rapid growth.
“Te airline business is a size game and we are still very
small,” he said.
Te airline’s fleet of three Airbus A320s,
14 Airbus A321s and three A330s is set to rise
to 24 aircraft by the end of 2018.
Mogensen said WOW is growing expo-
nentially and people should expect more of
the same, with “very aggressive fares.”
WOW is already averaging $57 per pas-
senger in ancillary revenue, and Mogensen wants to
see this go up to $100 per passenger.
One factor that is playing into the strategies of the
European, particularly UK LCCs, is Brexit. With the
timing for 2019 schedules ever closer and still no deal
between the UK and European Union on the terms of
the exit, airlines have been making contingency plans.
EasyJet’s Lundgren does not see the pressure on
European airlines easing up, as operational challenges
continue to bite.
“In Europe, I don’t have a great deal of hope that
things will get better,” Lundgren said in September.
Lundgren feels easyJet is well prepared, having transferred 130 aircraft to a new Austrian air operator’s
He is also optimistic that a deal ultimately will be
reached for aviation. “Te feedback [from the govern-ment] is that everybody wants a deal in aviation. We
believe flying will continue. It would be inconceivable
for there to be no flights bet ween the UK and Europe,”