Budget airline Ryanair has taken full control of Laudamotion, an Austrian-based carrier set up by former Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda.
Laudamotion said Tuesday that Ryanair completed the purchase of 100 percent of the shares in the new airline in late December. It didn’t give financial details. Ryanair had taken an initial 24.9 percent stake in March and later increased that to 75 percent.
The Austria Press Agency reported that Laudamotion CEO Andreas Gruber told a news conference at Vienna Airport that Lauda will continue to provide “input” to the airline after he sold his remaining stake.
Laudamotion said that it will now expand its fleet and recruit more pilots, cabin crew and engineers. It plans to open new routes from its bases in Vienna, Stuttgart, Duesseldorf and Palma.
In early 2018, Lauda took over Amira Air and renamed the company Laudamotion.
In August this year, the Formula 1 legend and Mercedes F1 Chairman defied death of a second time, undergoing a lung transplant after contracting flu while on holiday.
According to several internet sources, Lauda’s net worth is $100-million and reportedly earns $2-million for his role with Mercedes.