Ryanair plans to buy stake at new Austrian leisure carrier Laudamotion

Niki Lauda aims to turn a profit from next year with Laudamotion, the airline he has rebranded after buying it back from insolvent Air Berli. (Reuters)
Updated 21 March 2018
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Ryanair plans to buy stake at new Austrian leisure carrier Laudamotion

BERLIN: Ryanair plans to buy a stake in new Austrian leisure carrier Laudamotion, helping former motor racing champion Niki Lauda to get the airline up and running and giving the Irish carrier a bigger presence in Germany and Austria.
Ryanair has agreed to buy an initial 24.9 percent stake in Laudamotion, formed out of insolvent carrier Niki which was part of Air Berlin, and plans for that to rise to 75 percent “as soon as possible,” subject to EU approval.
The Irish budget carrier will invest less than €50 million, though will provide an additional €50 million in funding for start-up and operating costs in the first year.
“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,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said in a statement.
Niki, which flies to tourist destinations from Germany and Austria using A320 planes, was seen as the most attractive part of insolvent Air Berlin.
Germany’s largest carrier Lufthansa dropped plans to buy Niki in December over competition concerns.
British Airways parent IAG then won a bidding round, before that decision was canceled over legal action. Lauda eventually won a new bidding process to buy back the airline he founded.


What We Are Reading Today: Red Meat Republic by Joshua Specht

Updated 1 min 35 sec ago
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What We Are Reading Today: Red Meat Republic by Joshua Specht

  • Joshua Specht puts people at the heart of his story — the big cattle ranchers who helped to drive the nation’s westward expansion

By the late 19th century, Americans rich and poor had come to expect high-quality fresh beef with almost every meal. 

Beef production in the US had gone from small-scale, localized operations to a highly centralized industry spanning the country, with cattle bred on ranches in the rural West, slaughtered in Chicago, and consumed in the nation’s rapidly growing cities. 

Red Meat Republic tells the remarkable story of the violent conflict over who would reap the benefits of this new industry and who would bear its heavy costs, says a review on the University Press website.

Joshua Specht puts people at the heart of his story — the big cattle ranchers who helped to drive the nation’s westward expansion, the meatpackers who created a radically new kind of industrialized slaughterhouse, and the stockyard workers who were subjected to the shocking and unsanitary conditions described by Upton Sinclair in his novel The Jungle. 

Specht brings to life a turbulent era marked by Indian wars, Chicago labor unrest, and food riots in the streets of New York.