Category Archives: Laudamotion

Ryanair reports its first half profit dropped 7%

Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-FIZ (msn 44709) (Vitoria - The Basque Connection) PMI (Ton Jochems). Image: 943423.

Ryanair on October 22 reported a 7% fall in H1 profits to €1.20 billion (excluding Laudamotion losses).  Average fares declined 3% due to excess capacity in Europe, an earlier Easter in Q1, repeated ATC strikes/staff shortages which caused a spike in cancellations of higher fare, weekend flights.  Higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs have offset strong ancillary revenue growth.

H1 Results (IFRS)* Sep 30, 2017 Sep 30, 2018 % Change
Guests 72.1m 76.6m +6%
Revenue €4.43bn €4.79bn +8%
PAT €1.29bn €1.20bn -7%
Net Margin 29% 25% -4pts

* excl. €45m exceptional H1 FY19 Laudamotion loss

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“As recently guided, H1 average fares fell by 3%.  While ancillary revenues performed strongly, up 27%, these were offset by higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs. Our traffic, which was repeatedly impacted by the worst summer of ATC disruptions on record, grew 6% at an unchanged 96% load factor.

H1 highlights include:

– Traffic grew 6% to 76.6m (LF 96%)

– Fare fell 3% to under €46

– Ancillary revenue rose 27% to €1.3bn

– Agreements signed with Irish, UK, Italian, Portuguese (pilots) & German (cabin crew) unions

– Laudamotion holding increased to 75%

– 23 new B737s delivered

– €540m returned to shareholders via buybacks

New Routes and Growth:

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We took delivery of 23 new Boeing 737-800s in H1 (bringing the fleet to 450) and launched over 100 new S.18 routes.  We have trimmed winter capacity by 1% (including base closures in Eindhoven and Bremen) in response to weaker fares and higher oil prices. We expect FY19 traffic will grow to 141m (incl. 3m Laudamotion).  As we look beyond this winter, we have announced new S.19 bases in Bordeaux, Marseille, London Southend and increased capacity in Luton.  We plan to operate over 100 new routes in S.19.

With spot fuel reaching $85bbl, rising interest rates and the stronger US dollar, airline margins are under pressure and it is inevitable that more of the weaker, unhedged, European airlines will fold this winter.  In recent weeks Skyworks (Switz.), VLM (Bel.), Small Planet & Azur Air (Ger.), Cobalt (Cyprus) and Primera Air (Stansted & Scandinavia) collapsed.  At the same time, many larger airlines are closing bases and cutting routes to minimise winter losses.  We expect more failures this winter and we cannot rule out further capacity cuts or base closures in Ryanair if oil prices rise or air fares fall further. Over the medium term, this consolidation will create growth opportunities for Ryanair’s lowest fare/lowest cost model.

Laudamotion:

In August, we increased our holding in Laudamotion to 75%.  Despite a very difficult first summer, Laudamotion will carry almost 3m guests this year but will lose approximately €150m in start-up Year 1 exceptional costs.  We are working closely with the Laudamotion team who recently launched their S.19 schedule which will see them grow their fleet to 23 aircraft (including 19 A320’s).  Laudamotion have reached agreement to return 9 expensive lease aircraft to Lufthansa this winter and will replace those with lower cost, longer term, operating lease aircraft, which are readily available at competitive terms as more Airbus operators fail.  We are assisting them to improve cost control, fuel hedging and fleet management which will deliver significantly higher revenues and much lower costs next year as the airline moves towards break-even in its 2nd year of operation.

Ancillaries:

Our investment in Labs continues to deliver strong ancillary revenue growth.  In H1 ancillaries increased by 27% to €1.3bn and drove an 8% increase in total revenue to €4.8bn.  Key drivers of this growth were improved conversion of priority boarding and reserved seating.  Membership of “MyRyanair” has increased to 50m members and the Ryanair digital platform now welcomes over 1bn visits p.a.  A major upgrade of our digital platform is underway (website, app & 3rd party ancillary product plug-in) which will facilitate improved personalisation and capacity for traffic growth to 200m p.a. as we rollout relevant ancillary products which fit to each individual customer’s profile and buying patterns.

Cost Leadership:

No other EU airline can match, or come close to, Ryanair’s lowest unit costs and this cost gap is widening.  Airports across Europe are incentivising Ryanair’s reliable traffic growth. As others fail, these incentives are improving. Thanks to our balance sheet strength, our fuel is better hedged than most European competitors with 90% of our 12 month needs (to end Sept. 2019) hedged at approx. $68bbl, well below current spot prices of close to $85bbl.  FY19 is a year of investment in our people, our systems and our business as we prepare to grow to 200m guests p.a. In H1 ex-fuel unit costs increased by 7%. This includes 20% pay increases for pilots, investment in engineering headcount, pilot/cabin crew training costs and, regrettably, elevated EU261 costs arising from repeated ATC strikes/disruptions. Next spring, we take delivery of our first B737-MAX-200 “gamechanger” aircraft.  These planes have 4% more seats, yet are 16% more fuel efficient, have 40% lower noise emissions, are hedged at an average €/$ rate of $1.24 (for 210 aircraft out to FY24) and they will drive continuous unit cost reductions over the next 6 years.

ATC Strikes/Staff Shortages:

Repeated ATC strikes/staff shortages means that 2018 will be the worst year on record for European ATC disruptions. These have caused widespread damage to airline punctuality and schedules.  Ryanair’s H1 on-time fell to 75% from 86% (prior year), with all of this 11% decline due to ATC strikes and ATC staff shortages.  We’ve invested heavily to ensure that everything we control is delivering on-time departures.  We have changed our handling provider at Stansted to ensure that we receive dedicated passenger and aircraft handling, and eliminate the short staffing we suffered at times in Stansted this summer. Ryanair and other airlines have initiated legal action against the French Government to keep Europe’s skies open during French ATC disruptions.  A4E (Airlines for Europe) and Ryanair are also campaigning for the European Commission to take control of the EU air space so that overflights are not disrupted during national ATC strikes.  This does not alter or constrain any individual’s “right to strike” but tries to confine the impact of these ATC strikes to the actual country where the strike occurs.  We continue to call for urgent action from the EC to reduce ATC disruptions in S.19.

Union Progress:

Since Ryanair agreed to recognise unions in December 2017, we’ve made good progress with our union negotiations in major markets including agreements with pilot and cabin crew unions in Ireland, Italy, the UK, Germany (cabin crew) and last week an agreement with our Portuguese pilots.  We continue to engage with unions in our other major markets.  Progress has been slower in other markets such as Spain & Portugal (cabin crew) and Germany (pilots) where competitor employees have interfered to delay agreements with our people and their unions.  While we suffered a small number (just 8 days) of limited strikes this summer, we worked well to minimise disruptions to our customers by operating over 90% of our schedules on each of these days, thanks in large measure to the efforts of the majority of pilots and cabin crew who did not support these disruptions and worked normally.  Ryanair has shown over the past 10 months that we can, and will, work with unions to reach fair and reasonable agreements for our people while retaining our competitiveness and efficiency.  We can also manage strikes, although we do our utmost to avoid them. We will continue to negotiate and conclude union agreements over this winter.  While we hope to finalise more union agreements in the coming months, we cannot rule out occasional industrial action, but we expect their impact to be very limited.

Brexit:

The risk of a hard (“no-deal”) Brexit in March 2019 is rising.  While we hope that a 21-month transition agreement from March 2019 to December 2020 will be implemented (and extended), we remain concerned that the time to complete such an agreement is shortening.  In the event of a hard Brexit our UK shareholders will be treated as non-EU.  In such an event the Board will restrict the voting rights of all non-EU shareholders (and confine them to selling shares only to EU nationals) to ensure that Ryanair remains majority owned and controlled by EU shareholders.  We have applied for a UK AOC to protect our 3 domestic UK routes and are on track to receive it before the end of 2018.

Guidance (excluding Laudamotion):

As updated on 1 October, FY19 PAT is guided in a range of €1.10bn to €1.20bn (excl. Laudamotion).  Following a 3% reduction in H1 fares, we expect fares to fall by c.2% in H2 due to weaker than expected forward fares in Q3 (particularly the October school mid-term and Christmas) and the absence of Easter in Q4.  A 1% reduction in winter capacity means that FY19 traffic will grow by 6% to 138m (141m incl. Laudamotion).  Our fuel bill will be approx. €460m higher than last year and “Other Costs” will be negatively impacted by higher EU261 costs.  Ancillaries continue to perform strongly although (as previously highlighted) the H2 figures will be adversely impacted by timing differences on the recognition of certain fees arising from the adoption of IFRS 15 (positive impact in H1).  This guidance excludes (exceptional) start-up losses in Laudamotion of approx. €150m (which are and will be consolidated in the Ryanair Group full year financial results).

This full year guidance remains heavily dependent on air fares not declining further (they remain soft this winter due to excess capacity in Europe), the impact of significantly higher oil prices on our unhedged exposures, the absence of unforeseen security events, ATC and other strikes and the impact of negative Brexit developments. We cannot rule out further base closures or capacity cuts this winter if oil prices rise or air fares fall further. Winter trading may be positively impacted by the rate and timing of other airline failures which is already creating a ready supply of well trained pilots and cabin crew for S.19 growth.”

Top Copyright Photo: Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-FIZ (msn 44709) (Vitoria – The Basque Connection) PMI (Ton Jochems). Image: 943423.

Ryanair aircraft slide show:

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Laudamotion introduces its new livery, fleet will expand to 18 aircraft

Laudamotion (Vienna) is introducing its own livery that will gradually replace the former Airberlin markings on its aircraft.

The new livery places the emphasis on just “Lauda” rather than Laudamotion.

Ryanair released this statement and photo:

Laudamotion on August 29, 2018 announced that it would double its Airbus fleet from 9 to 18 aircraft in Summer 2019 following the completion of Ryanair’s purchase of 75% shareholding in Laudamotion GmbH from Niki Lauda in August.

Laudamotion also announced a series of initiatives to support Laudamotion’s continued growth, which include:

– Confirmed delivery dates for 9 additional Airbus A320 aircraft for Summer 2019

– A new aircraft livery which reflects Laudamotion’s Austrian heritage

– New Vienna offices to accommodate more, high paid, high quality jobs

– Pilot pay increases and basic pay guarantees

Guaranteed Captain starting basic pay of €90,000 p.a., (higher than Wizz €56k, Level €72k and Eurowings €78k)
Up to €180,000 total Capt pay p.a. including flight pay/allowances
Guaranteed First Officer starting basic pay of €46,000k p.a., (higher than Wizz €26k, Level €38k and Eurowings €44k)
Up to €70k total First Officer pay p.a. including flight pay

– Roll out of a stable winter roster 5 days on, 3 days off (a bank holiday every weekend)

Image: Laudamotion.

Ryanair responds to Lufthansa’s claims about Laudamotion

Laudamotion Airbus A320-214 OE-LOE (msn 4269) FRA (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 941409.

Ryanair on July 13 confirmed that Lufthansa Group is making false claims about Laudamotion.

Lufthansa’s claim that it has “fully complied with all requirements of the European Commission regarding the required transfer of aircraft to Laudamotion” is simply untrue. Lufthansa agreed to transfer 11 aircraft to Laudamotion, yet as of July 13, Lufthansa has only delivered 9 aircraft.

1. One of the aircraft, which was supposed to be delivered “at the beginning” of June, has now been delayed until at least the end of August, which means Laudamotion has lost the benefit of this aircraft (and its slots) during the peak summer months.

2. Not alone has Lufthansa failed to honor its obligations to lease the 11 aircraft, but the lease costs of the aircraft it has leased to Laudamotion are substantially higher than market rates for Airbus A320’s of this age.

3. Laudamotion has repeatedly honored both its aircraft lease payments and maintenance reserves to Lufthansa. Lufthansa’s claims of “repeated failure” to pay is false.

4. Lufthansa has used every tactic in the book to harm and damage Laudamotion including withdrawing flying business from Laudamotion (which Lufthansa had originally agreed) then refusing to pay over €1.5m of lease payments properly due to Laudamotion for flying carried out on behalf of Lufthansa in March, April and May.

Despite Lufthansa owing Laudamotion over €1.5m in overdue lease payments for the months of March, April and May, Lufthansa has attempted to terminate all 9 aircraft leases on unfounded legal grounds, even though lease rentals for the full month of July had already been paid at the end of June.

Ryanair’s Juliusz Komorek said:

“Lufthansa is abusing its dominant position in the German and Austrian markets in a blatant attempt to eliminate a much smaller, Austrian competitor, Laudamotion. Lufthansa’s attempt to terminate Laudamotion’s 9 aircraft leases during the peak of the summer period, at a time which would cause maximum damage to Laudamotion and its customers, is in breach of its obligations to the EU.

Lufthansa dominates the German, Austrian, and Swiss markets and the fact that it is now abusing this position to try to remove Laudamotion’s aircraft fleet, while refusing to pay Laudamotion lease payments that are months overdue, is in flagrant breach of fair procedure and competition rules. It is Lufthansa who has repeatedly failed to pay Laudamotion over €1.5m of lease payments for March, April and May.”

Top Copyright Photo: Laudamotion Airbus A320-214 OE-LOE (msn 4269) FRA (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 941409.

Laudamotion aircraft slide show:

Laudamotion’s routes from Dusseldorf and Berlin this coming winter:

 

Ryanair welcomes EU approval of its Laudamotion proposal

Ryanair on July 12, 2018welcomed the EU Commission’s decision to approve Ryanair’s proposed acquisition of a 75% interest in Austrian airline, Laudamotion (Ryanair currently owns 24.9%). Ryanair 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, Laudamotion is currently under threat by Lufthansa who are attempting to remove the 9 aircraft Lufthansa was obliged by the European Commission to provide to Laudamotion in order to allow Laudamotion to restart services.

This is the latest in a series of efforts by Lufthansa to destabilise and damage Laudamotion, which has seen:

– Lufthansa fail to deliver 2 of the 11 aircraft they were required to under the EU Competition decision concerning Lufthansa’s acquisition of Air Berlin.

– 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.

– Laudamotion only able to operate a 19 aircraft fleet in summer 2018 by wet leasing 10 B737 aircraft from Ryanair.

– Lufthansa Group delay 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 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.

Ryanair’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.”

LaudaMotion and Ryanair partnership takes off with new details

LaudaMotion and Ryanair on March 28 announced details of the LaudaMotion summer 2018 schedule with a total of 21 aircraft operating from 9 cities in Austria and Germany from June.

LaudaMotion’s summer 2018 schedule will deliver:

– 21 aircraft

– 9 bases in three countries:

Austria – Vienna

Germany – Berlin Tegel, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart

Switzerland – Zurich

– 44 airports

– 65 routes

Last week, LaudaMotion and Ryanair announced a new aviation partnership where the Irish airline is initially taking a 24.9% stake in LaudaMotion, which will increase to 75% subject to approval by the EU Competition Authority. The aim is to further develop and expand Austria’s LaudaMotion GmbH, headquartered in Vienna.

Niki Lauda will chair the newly created LaudaMotion Board and will be responsible in his new role for establishing LaudaMotion as an Austrian low-fare airline for the scheduled and charter market.

This agreement with Ryanair will allow the gradual growth of LaudaMotion in Austria which currently has a fleet of ten Airbus aircraft. Ryanair will provide financial and management support to LaudaMotion as well as 6 wet-lease aircraft for summer to enable LaudaMotion to complete an extensive 21 aircraft flying program from June.

Four aircraft will be based in Vienna and the frequency of flights to Palma de Mallorca will increase to up to three daily connections. Four LaudaMotion aircraft will be based in Berlin Tegel, six in Dusseldorf, one each in Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart respectively, with two in Zurich.

LaudaMotion’s new Berlin Tegel base will open on June 1, 2018 with four based aircraft, offering low fare routes to 17 sunshine destinations: Barcelona, Brindisi, Corfu, Faro, Fuerteventura, Heraklion, Ibiza, Kos, Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Malaga, Milan Malpensa, Palma de Mallorca, Pula, Rhodes, Rijeka and Tenerife.

This coming winter, LaudaMotion will focus on a city shuttle service with up to three more aircraft based in Vienna, allowing Austrian customers to benefit from a wider selection of flights at affordable prices to Europe’s major cities.

The inaugural LaudaMotion flight from Dusseldorf to Palma de Mallorca took off last Sunday in record time – just 25 days after the takeover from Niki on March 1, 2018. The Spanish sunshine isle is one of the most important destinations in the LaudaMotion route network.

 

In Vienna, Niki Lauda, LaudaMotion Chairman said:

“I am pleased to confirm that LaudaMotion is now up and running and I would like to thank the Laudamotion team for all their hard work and enthusiasm, which has allowed us to start efficiently and on time. We look forward to building the Laudamotion brand and to creating new jobs, more promotional opportunities and greater consumer choice, particularly in Vienna where we will more than double our Airbus aircraft base next year.

I am pleased to welcome Michael O’Leary and the Ryanair team to Vienna to mark the start of our partnership, which will see Laudamotion grow its fleet to more than 30 Airbus aircraft and provide wider choice and lower fares to Viennese consumers and visitors.”

  

Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary said:

“Ryanair is pleased to support this first summer schedule for LaudaMotion, which is great news for Austrian consumers and visitors, who can now book low fare flights and benefit from genuine competition and more choice. We share Niki Lauda’s vision to develop a successful Austrian low fares airline in a market dominated by Lufthansa’s high fare Austrian and Swiss subsidiaries. Indeed, Laudamotion is now in pole position to accelerate rapidly in both the scheduled and charter markets in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

This partnership will be of enormous benefit to both Ryanair and Laudamotion customers. The LaudaMotion AOC will support a fleet of Airbus aircraft, which is something we have hoped to develop within the Ryanair Group for some years. And in turn, Ryanair will support LaudaMotion by providing access to our fleet and financial resources, allowing for more rapid growth. This is also good news for LaudaMotion’s people, providing improved job security and promotional opportunities at Austria’s first low fares airline.”

Below Copyright Photo (all others by LaudaMotion): LaudaMotion Airbus A321-211 OE-LCG (msn 1988) (Airberlin colors) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 941370.

LaudaMotion aircraft slide show:

LaudaMotion Airbus A321-211 OE-LCG (msn 1988) (Airberlin colors) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 941370.

Eurowings to wet lease 8 Airbus A320s from LaudaMotion

Flying for Eurowings, still with Airberlin.com titles on belly!

Eurowings is wet leasing up to eight Airbus A320s from upstart LaudaMotion (Vienna).

According to Reuters, Eurowings and Laudamotion have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the use of the aircraft initially until the end of May.

Copyright Photo: LaudaMotion Airbus A320-214 OE-LOF (msn 4329) (Airberlin colors) MUC (Arnd Wolf). Image: 941340.

Ryanair to help and will eventually acquire 75% of LaudaMotion

Ryanair Holdings Plc on March 20 announced that it has entered into a binding agreement with Mr. Niki Lauda to support his plan to develop and grow LaudaMotion GmbH, an Austrian Airline based in Vienna.

LaudaMotion is an Austrian AOC holder owned by Niki Lauda, which has recently acquired many of the assets, including Airbus A320 aircraft, of the former Niki Airline, and will shortly start a range of scheduled and charter services from Germany, Austria and Switzerland primarily to Mediterranean leisure destinations.

Under this agreement Ryanair will acquire an initial 24.9% stake in LaudaMotion and this will rise as soon as possible to 75% subject to EU Competition approval.

Niki Lauda will chair the Board of the airline and oversee the implementation of his strategy to build a successful Austrian low fares airline. Ryanair will provide financial and management support to LaudaMotion as well as 6 wet-lease aircraft for S2018 to enable LaudaMotion to complete an extensive 21 aircraft flying program.

The cost of this 75% investment in LaudaMotion (if approved by the EU) will be less than €50m although Ryanair will provide an additional €50m for year 1 start up and operating costs. Both Mr Lauda and Ryanair will work with the existing management team of LaudaMotion and expect the airline to reach profitability by year 3 of operations if their plan to grow the business to a fleet of at least 30 Airbus aircraft is successful.

This partnership provides job security, career opportunities and growth in employment in all activities of LaudaMotion, such as cockpit and cabin crew, maintenance and administration, and will allow consumers and visitors to benefit from strong competition, leading to more choices and lower fares. 

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“We look forward to working in partnership with Niki Lauda to successfully develop his vision for a successful Austrian low fares airline to service the schedule and charter markets.  The LaudaMotion AOC will support a fleet of Airbus aircraft which is something we have hoped to develop within the Ryanair Group for some years.

LaudaMotion will benefit from this partnership between Niki Lauda and Ryanair. With access to the Ryanair fleet and financial resources, LaudaMotion will now grow more rapidly, as it seeks to compete in a market which is dominated by Lufthansa’s high airfares with its Swiss and Austrian subsidiaries.

This LaudaMotion partnership is good news for Austrian and German consumers/visitors who can now look forward to real competition, more choice and lower fares.  It is also great news for LaudaMotion’s people who can look forward to improved job security and more promotional opportunities in Vienna and other bases as we work with Niki Lauda and his team to accelerate growth of LaudaMotion – Austria’s low fares airline.” 

Niki Lauda, Chairman of LaudaMotion said: 

“I have always stood up for competition and have opposed monopolies. Therefore I am thrilled that in the partnership with Ryanair, Laudamotion will be able to establish itself as a strong competitor and to grow quickly and sustainably. A new player in the aviation market is born and I am looking forward to offering our passengers an extensive route portfolio at competitive air fares.”

LaudaMotion will eventually introduce its own unique livery at the end of the summer season 2018.