LaudaMotion (OE, Vienna) has "made progress" in talks with lessors regarding securing additional A320s for Summer 2019 which could lower the airline's cost base, CEO of parent Ryanair Michael O'Leary has said during the quarterly investor call.

"We would like to place an order for a flow of Airbus aircraft at LaudaMotion... LaudaMotion has had made progress with some of the leasing companies in procuring aircraft that are returning from Asia for the summer of 2019 schedule, which hopefully will allow LaudaMotion to continue to grow," O'Leary said.

Ryanair plans for LaudaMotion to have between thirty and forty Airbus aircraft within the next three or four years.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, the Austrian leisure specialist currently operates nineteen active aircraft, including nine A320 Family units (five A320-200s and four A321-200s) leased from Lufthansa and ten B737-800s wet-leased from Ryanair. The A320s are subject to a legal debate in which Lufthansa is trying to prematurely terminate the lease imposed on it by the European Commission and redeploy the aircraft with Eurowings. For its part, LaudaMotion expects to operate the aircraft through 2020.

O'Leary said that the newly leased A320s will come at a better price than the units leased from Lufthansa. This, in addition to an earlier launch of sales for Summer 2019 and better fuel hedging, should improve the Austrian airline's financial standing. In 2018, LaudaMotion now expects to lose some EUR150 million euros (USD175 million) in comparison to the initial guidance of EUR100 million.

Ryanair currently holds a 24.9% stake in LaudaMotion but recently secured the approval from the European Commission to boost its shareholding to 75%. The Irish LCC expects to finalise the increase in its stake during the third quarter of 2018.