The airline’s Airbus A320 base in Austria will close on 29 May, resulting in the loss of 300 jobs.
Lauda says it “deeply regrets” the closure of the base and places the blame directly on the Vida union.
“Shamefully, the Vida union ignored the wishes of over 95% of pilots and 70% of cabin crew at Lauda’s A320 Vienna base and has destroyed over 300 well paid jobs,” state Lauda joint chief executives Andreas Gruber and David O’Brien.
”Lauda also deplores the inaction of the Austrian government which could have used its €800 million [$873 million] state aid to Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines to require Vida to save the jobs of Lauda’s A320 Vienna crews.”
Ryanair warned earlier this month that it would close Lauda’s Vienna base if “meaningful” cost reductions could not be agreed by 20 May. It said that costs at the Austrian unit were “running ahead” of other airlines in the group, and that the management team was putting in place a restructuring plan.
Vienna is the largest of Lauda’s four bases. It also has aircraft stationed in Dusseldorf, Stuttgart and Majorca, and had been due to open a base in the Croatian city of Zadar in March prior to the coronavirus crisis.
Cirium fleets data shows that Lauda has a fleet of 27 A320s, all of which are currently in storage because of the coronavirus pandemic. Ryanair had been intending to expand the Lauda fleet to 38 aircraft this summer.
Additional reporting by FlightGlobal’s Graham Dunn