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Airbus expertise added to Laudamotion's appeal: Ryanair executive

Laudamotion's experience with "super aircraft" built by Airbus has been cited by Ryanair as an attractive benefit from its proposed purchase of a 75% stake in the Austrian carrier.

Ryanair has long touted the advantages of flying a single-type Boeing 737 fleet, but the Irish carrier's chief operating officer Peter Bellew told FlightGlobal in Brussels yesterday that "Airbus makes super aircraft, so there's no reason why we wouldn't have Airbus aircraft in future in Ryanair".

The move by Ryanair to take a majority stake in Laudamotion came just weeks after the Vienna-based carrier had completed a purchase of assets from defunct Airbus operator Niki – including its technical department.

Bellew cites Laudamotion's EASA Part-145 maintenance approval for Airbus types, and its "hangarage down there to be able to do Airbus operation of Airbus-trained pilots", as attractive to Ryanair.

"They've been doing it a long time. They've been very professional and proficient at it," he adds.

Bellew says an Airbus operation is something Ryanair has "been interested in for a number of years", echoing the statement from chief executive Michael O'Leary when the proposed Laudamotion stake was first announced.

"So for us, [the Laudamotion deal] would be diversifying our aircraft sourcing. They have experience in that," says Bellew.

While he stopped short of confirming any Ryanair plan to take Airbus aircraft, Bellew expects to see "Airbus aircraft increasing in Laudamotion".

He meanwhile confirms that the six aircraft Ryanair will lease to Laudamotion as part of the initial deal will be 737-800s.

Ryanair announced on 20 March that it had agreed to acquire 75% of Laudamotion for €50 million ($62 million).

The budget carrier says it will initially buy 24.9% of the Austrian carrier and plans to increase the stake to 75% subject to EU competition approval.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Ryanair has 427 Boeing 737s in service and 145 on order – including 110 737 Max 8s.

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