|Ceased operations||April 2013|
|Operating bases||Vienna International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Miles & More|
|Alliance||Star Alliance (affiliate member)|
|Company slogan||"The Austrian Way to holidays"|
|Parent company||Austrian Airlines Lufthansa Group|
|Headquarters||Vienna Airport, Schwechat|
|Key people||Jaan Albrecht (CEO)
Karsten Benz (CCO)
Lauda Air Luftfahrt GmbH was an airline headquartered at Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Austria. It was owned by Niki Lauda for much of its history. For the final portion of its history it was a charter airline that was a subsidiary of Austrian Airlines AG.
On 6 April 2013, Lauda Air ceased to exist and was replaced by Austrian myHoliday. Austrian myHoliday is not an airline, but a brand name that is used for flights and leisure offers provided by Austrian Airlines.
Lauda Air was established in April 1979 by former Formula One world motor racing champion, Niki Lauda, and started operations in 1985, initially operating as a charter and air taxi service. One of the first jetliner types used by Lauda Air was the British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven series 500 with these aircraft being leased from Romanian airline TAROM. It opened its headquarters in the Lauda Air Building in Schwechat, Austria. Scheduled operations were licenced and initiated in 1987; and in 1990 licences for international flights were obtained. In 1989 Lauda started its first long-haul flights from Vienna to Sydney and Melbourne, via Bangkok. In the 1990s, it started to fly its Sydney and Melbourne flights via Kuala Lumpur. Daily flights to Dubai, Cuba, and Miami via Munich followed.
Lauda Air became a wholly owned subsidiary of Austrian Airlines in December 2000, and employed 35 as of March 2007. In 2005 the flight operation merged with Austrian Airlines, and the label, "Lauda Air" operated charter flights within the Austrian Airlines Group.
At an AAG board meeting in November 2006, plans were approved to retire the Airbus wide-bodied fleet by mid-2007, to concentrate on a Boeing 767 and Boeing 777 fleet. As a result of subsequent fleet cuts, Austrian Airlines suspended some long-haul services and Lauda Air withdrew from the long-haul charter market over the next year. This led to a refocus on the short/medium haul market, and led to the addition of a 737-800 to take over most of the charter routes.
Lauda Air was officially merged into Austrian Airlines on 1 July 2012.
The brand was retired at the start of the summer flight schedule on 31 March 2013, and was replaced by "Austrian myHoliday". It is no longer an airline but branding that is used to sell Austrian Airlines' own leisure offers.
Austrian Airlines regularly served, among others, the following destinations under the Lauda Air brand until March 2013:
- Hurghada - Hurghada International Airport
- Luxor - Luxor International Airport
- Sharm el-Sheikh - Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport
- Chania - Chania International Airport [seasonal]
- Corfu - Corfu International Airport [seasonal]
- Heraklion - Heraklion International Airport, "Nikos Kazantzakis" [seasonal]
- Karpathos - Karpathos Island National Airport [seasonal]
- Kavala - Kavala International Airport [seasonal]
- Kefalonia - Kefalonia Island International Airport [seasonal]
- Kos - Kos Island International Airport [seasonal]
- Lesbos - Mytilene International Airport [seasonal]
- Mykonos - Mykonos Island National Airport [seasonal]
- Preveza - Aktion National Airport [seasonal]
- Rhodes - Rhodes International Airport, "Diagoras" [seasonal]
- Samos - Samos International Airport [seasonal]
- Santorini - Santorini (Thira) National Airport [seasonal]
- Skiathos - Skiathos Island National Airport [seasonal]
- Thessaloniki - Thessaloniki International Airport, "Macedonia" [seasonal]
- Volos - Nea Anchialos National Airport [seasonal]
- Zakynthos - Zakynthos International Airport, "Dionysios Solomos" [seasonal]
All aircraft within the group were transferred to Austrian Airlines on 1 July 2012, to be able to take advantage of Austrian Airlines structure. One Boeing 737-800, which is equipped with 184 passenger seats in an all-economy class cabin layout, carried the Lauda Air livery until the closure of the brand to secure the Air operator's certificate.
Incidents and accidents
- On 26 May 1991, Lauda Air Flight 004, a Boeing 767-3Z9ER (named the "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart") was lost over Thailand shortly after take-off from Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok, due to the non-commanded deployment of one of its thrust reversers. This incident resulted in the deaths of all 223 passengers and crew.
- Lauda Air; DIE Press; retrieved .
- 99 "World Airline Directory;" Flight International; 27 March–2 April 1991; Head Office: Lauda Air Building, PO Box 56, 1300 Wien-Schwechat, Austria; accessed .
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 105.
- Airliner World; January 2007
- Austrian bids farewell to the 737, Airliner World, June 2013: p6
- Niki the Rat; 27 November 2001 article; Lauda Air; retrieved 6 March 2013.
- Ratte; Laud Air; Note: The name is the same in German as in English; website accessed .
- Lauda Air Annual Report 1995/1996; 24 May 1998 article; Lauda Air; retrieved 6 March 2013.
- 9 Fam 41.2 Exhibit III List of Signatory Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Carriers: INA 217(E) Signatory Transportation Lines; Archive of U.S. Department of State website; retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- Lauda Air destinations Summer 2011 (.PDF article in German); Lauda Air; auto download.
- Lauda Air Fleet List; planespotters.net; accessed January 2014.
- Official website (Archive)