Coronavirus: 300 jobs lost as Ryanair’s Laudamotion closes Vienna base

Ryanair's Laudamotion said Friday it would close its main base in Vienna after the transport union refused to accept pay cuts for employees of the carrier hard hit by the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus: 300 jobs lost as Ryanair's Laudamotion closes Vienna base
A Laudamotion plane sits on the tarmac. Photo: ROLF VENNENBERND / DPA / AFP

“Lauda deeply regrets the loss of more than 300 jobs for its A320-team and the closing of Lauda's A320 base in Vienna on Friday May 29,” the carrier said.

Ryanair had earlier threatened to close the base if it could not get agreement on salary cuts for Laudamotion employees in Vienna.

The airline has three other smaller bases — two in Germany, in Dusseldorf and Stuttgart, and one in Palma de Mallorca in Spain.

Vida, a trade union representing workers in the transport and service industries in Austria, refused to agree to a contract that stipulated reduced wages for Laudamotion employees.

It said the proposed entrance salary for board personnel was below the country's guaranteed minimum income.

Ryanair said Monday that annual profit sank as the coronavirus halted travel and the Irish no-frills airline bet on jet fuel prices being much higher ahead of an oil-price crash.

Laudamotion was founded by late Formula One legend Niki Lauda, and Ryanair bought it in 2018. Lauda died a year ago at age 70.

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Tens of thousands of workers in Austria hit by Covid and flu as cases rise

Does it seem like everyone around you in Austria is sick? As it turns out, statistics support your suspicions.

Tens of thousands of workers in Austria hit by Covid and flu as cases rise

Last week, over 110,000 people in Austria were absent from work due to COVID-19, influenza, or flu-like diseases.

Statistics from ÖGK policyholders, Austria’s largest public health insurer, indicated that more than 400 individuals were specifically impacted by influenza (“real flu”), while over 84,000 stayed home due to flu-like symptoms. ÖGK’s chief physician, Andreas Krauter, highlighted a noticeable uptick in sick days via a statement on Monday.

The news comes Austria struggles with 10,000 more COVID-19 infections. than at the same time last year. Several variants of the Omicron strain of the virus are currently under observation by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and with temperatures plummeting, it is thought that a colder winter could further boost cases. 

Austria was a centre of several COVID-19 outbreaks in the early months of the pandemic, and stringent measures were introduced across the country in order to tackle its spread. 

READ MORE: How can I get a Covid or flu vaccine in Austria this autumn?

In his statement, Krauter emphasised the efficacy of masks in offering reliable protection against infection and curtailing further transmission. He particularly stressed the importance of considering this protective measure for individuals with underlying health risks. “For them and everyone else, we recommend vaccination against Covid-19 and influenza. Washing your hands is also important”, he said in a press release.

In total, ÖGK recorded 297,000 individuals afflicted by various illnesses or injuries and registered for sick leave during the last week.