there´s been much fuss about the ongoing quarrels within the austrian airlines group and how the entire ownership will translate into the future shape of the group.
there have been many articles, posts and statements on this forum and elsewhere on the net. certainly, there are many synergies to be found when forming an airline group under one main holding, f.e. same pilot training (lauda air is still conducting its pilot recruitments through a third company) which could be easily done under one roof. certainly there are many more benefits to be found which can be solved easily and thus save costs.
i´m not too familiar with AUA, NG, VO and so i personally don´t want to go in-depth. all i know of them i´ve got from the media and boards like this one. if anyone has precise info and you can share them, please feel free to do so.
however, my main question is, now that AUA intends to buy all the remaining stocks of lauda air, what do you think will the future AUA group look like, fleet-wise, operational-wise, network-wise?
i´d like to point out that all this speculation bases on my assumptions and what i know of.
we all know that all the three airlines are members of the star alliance.
tyrolean airways primarily serves regional routes from vienna and smaller austrian airports, and serves the thinner routes within the AUA-network.
lauda air is primarily a charter and leisure airline, but also has scheduled charter services. in addition, it serves some european destinations on a scheduled basis.
aua is the austrian flag-carrier and serves short to long-haul routes, all across europe and serves some of the most important cities in north america, the near east and asia.
lauda air is serving miami via munich but on many occasions this service was operated by AUA aircraft. in addition, AUA serves KIX, NRT and PEK (and SHA?), whereas Lauda serves south east asia, BKK, KUL, DPS, HKT and MEL and SYD.
so i´m asking if anyone sees a major change in the AUA/NG route policy?
the HKT, DPS, MEL and SYD services to me seem to be more of charter services and so i doubt that AUA would venture into these markets. however, rumours have it that lufthansa could want NG to give up its flights to KUL so that LH could reinstate their services to KUL (two carriers geographically so close serving such a small market doesn´t seem to make much sense). in this case, lauda air would probably move it´s operations from KUL to SIN which is a step LH is lobbying for.
in addition, both lauda air and tyrolean have commuter aircraft in their fleets. so i´m wondering if it made more sense if the CRJs would only be operated by tyrolean, which already´s got a strong commuter fleet and has a larger fleet of CRJs than lauda.
furthermore, both tyrolean and austrian have F-70s in their fleets. and now that´s the same with CRJs. wouldn´t it be better to have only one airline operating this type? i assume both have the same engine types and share further commonality given the fact that tyrolean and austrian have been partners for such a long time. well, i don´t know for sure.
there are certainly more things to pay attention to: different pilot contracts, different wages, different working conditions, different fleet policies, yields, economics, and so on. it´s never that easy as it looks on paper.
and let´s take a closer look at their fleets ( i´ve taken all this info from their current homepages so don´t blame me if it´s not up-to-date...)
tyrolean has a fleet of 6 F70, 10 CRJs and 18 DHC-8s, AUA operates an additional 6 F-70s and 12 M80s (soon to be phased out with the delivery of more a-320s/321s), 6 321s, 7 320s, 4 a-330-200s and 4 a-340s.
lauda air has a fleet of 8 737s (2 –300, 2 –400, 2 –600, 2 –800), 6 767-300s and two 777-200s, and 7 CRJs.
that´s quite a diverse fleet consisting of 96 planes and 9 different aircraft families.
now that austrian is taking hold of lauda and restructuring the entire group, i´m wondering what the lauda fleet will eventually look like. on the one hand, for such a small fleet, two different single-aisles types and widebody types (320 vs. 737, 330/340 vs. 767/777) doesn´t seem to make much sense, though it works with other carriers, but mainly larger ones.
on the other hand, i assume that at the moment it wouldn´t be such a good idea to replace the current lauda fleet, given that it is pretty young and that the entire AUA group is financially not very strong. that´s exactly what happened with sabena, they were financially weak and quickly exchanged their entire 737 fleet with
a-32xs and that became one of the main reasons for their current situation. ok, the lauda fleet is not as big as the sabena fleet, however i don´t think it´s a very good idea at the moment.
the integration of rheintalflug:
so far, i haven´t heard about anything regarding rheintalflug´s membership in team lufthansa.
as far as i understand, an 100% ownership of AUA wouldn´t exclude rheintalflug from being a teamLH member, which brings value and benefits to rheintalflug and thus to AUA as well. in addition, i don´t see a reason why rheintalflug should leave team LH and still, AUA and LH are very close partners.
if anyone has info about rheintalflug and team LH regarding the AUA stake, please let me know.
if anyone has news, insights, additional information or corrections to make, just go ahead!