Lauda Air Luftfahrt GmbH, branded as Lauda Air was an Austrian airline headquartered in Vienna, Austria. It operated scheduled leisure flights and charter flights to vacation destinations in Europe, North America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.
|Ceased operations||6 April 2013|
(merged into Austrian Airlines)
|Alliance||Star Alliance (affiliate; 2000—2013)|
|Subsidiaries||Lauda Air Italy (1991—2005)|
|Fleet size||66 (formerly)|
|Parent company||Austrian Airlines Group|
History[change | change source]
Lauda Air was founded in April 1979 by former Formula 1 driver and champion Niki Lauda. They began operations in 1985 with air taxi and charter services.
Authorization for regular operations was given in 1987. In 1990 it was authorized to carry out international flights. In 1989 Lauda Air began its first long-range flight from Vienna to Sydney and Melbourne via Kuala Lumpur. Daily flights to Miami via Munich, to Dubai and to Cuba followed.
It became a 100% owned subsidiary of Austrian Airlines in December 2000. They had 35 employees (as of March 2007). In 2005 the flight operations were taken over by Austrian Airlines. Lauda Air is used currently as the brand that operates the charter flights of the Austrian Airlines Group.
Niki Lauda has started a new airline named Niki. For its part, the Austrian Airlines Group will make a decision whether to integrate the entire Lauda Air Charter Flight fleet into the common Austrian Airlines design or not, at the beginning of 2007. The goals would be to identify itself as a single airline (simplicity) and to avoid advertising of Niki Lauda's new airline. This would mean the total disappearance of Lauda Air.
Incidents and accidents[change | change source]
- On 26 May 1991, Lauda Air Flight 004, operated by a Boeing 767-300ER registered as OE-LAV, named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, crashed in Thailand shortly after take-off from Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok, due to the uncommanded deployment of one of its thrust reversers. This accident resulted in the deaths of all 223 passengers and crew.