With increased airfare competition, cheaper flight prices are headed to Europe.
Credit: Courtesy of LaudaMotion

Europe is getting more cheap flights, thanks to budget airline Ryanair and LaudaMotion teaming up.

The Irish airline has announced that it will be buying a majority stake in former Formula One driver Niki Lauda’s new Austrian airline, LaudaMotion, which is looking to provide low-cost flight options to travelers flying within Europe. Ryanair is buying an initial 24.9 percent stake in LaudaMotion, which will be based out of Vienna. The stake is set to rise to as much as 75 percent once both companies receive approval from the European Union.

LaudaMotion will include a range of both scheduled and chartered flights operating out of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, traveling to Mediterranean holiday hotspots like the Balearic Islands, Ibiza, Malaga, Santorini and Crete. The airline is already launching its first flights from Germany this week, with operations in Switzerland starting in April and flights from Austria taking off in June.

Tickets are already on sale, with one-way flights across Europe starting at 59.99 euros (roughly $74).

To help the airline grow, Ryanair will provide LaudaMotion with six aircraft. Ryanair will also provide an additional 50 million euros (roughly $61 million) in startup and operational funding for the first year, with the aim of establishing a fleet of at least 30 Airbus aircraft down the line.

“With access to the Ryanair fleet and financial resources, LaudaMotion will now grow more rapidly, as it seeks to compete in a market which is dominated by Lufthansa’s high airfares with its Swiss and Austrian subsidiaries,” Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, said in a statement.

“This LaudaMotion partnership is good news for Austrian and German consumers [and] visitors who can now look forward to real competition, more choice and lower fares,” he added.