Thursday 23 May 2019

Ryanair names third Laudamotion MD

Niki Lauda and Michael O'Leary
Niki Lauda and Michael O'Leary

Kirsti Knolle

Ryanair has appointed a third managing director at Austrian carrier Laudamotion, tightening its grip on the leisure airline at a time when the Irish company is dealing with unrest among its employees across Europe.

Ryanair holds a 75pc stake in Laudamotion, whose founder and minority shareholder Niki Lauda.

Michael O'Leary and Mr Lauda teamed up early this year after the collapse of Air Berlin in an attempt to expand in Germany and Austria.

Colin Casey, who was a commercial manager for Ryanair, will work together with managing director Andreas Gruber and Lauda, Laudamotion said.

"All three managing directors are only jointly authorised to represent the company," Laudamotion said.

One of the most pressing issues is negotiations with the Austrian GPA trade union over a collective wage agreement.

A deal, initially envisaged in summer, is now expected in the autumn. So far, Laudamotion passengers have been spared strikes.

Ryanair has struggled with labour relations despite bowing to pressure to recognise trade unions for the first time last December. A pan-European body representing Ryanair pilot unions on Friday called the its decision to close two bases and reduce its capacity this winter as a "declaration of war" on unions and said it must be reversed.


Irish Independent

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