Lauda (OE, Vienna) has announced it will cap its fleet at thirty A320-200s going forward and although it will exclusively operate under the code of its parent Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l), it will retain its own branding.

The Austrian subsidiary of Ryanair Holdings said that thanks to a recent agreement with its unions, its key Vienna base would reopen on July 1 with over 330 flight crew positions. However, the number of Airbus narrowbodies based out of the Austrian capital will decrease from 16 to just 10. The remaining 20 aircraft operated by Lauda will be based out of its remaining bases at Düsseldorf Int'l, Stuttgart Manfred Rommel, and Palma de Mallorca airport. The carrier said that its foreign bases' staffing needs were "under review".

Besides shrinking its fleet, Lauda announced that it would henceforth operate as a wet-lease specialist within the group. Thus far, the Austrian airline was the only Ryanair Holdings' unit to operate under its own brand and code. The group's other subsidiaries - Buzz (RR, Warsaw Modlin), Malta Air (AL, Malta Int'l), and Ryanair UK (RK, London Stansted) - all of which exclusively fly under Ryanair's FR code. And while the UK airline does not have its own brand identity, both the Polish and the Maltese units do. As such, Ryanair Holdings will continue to operate as a multi-brand group on a marketing level but will revert to a single-code operationally.

AviationNetOnline reported that in the short-term, some non-European Union flights may continue under Lauda's OE code (assuming they are cleared to operate) due to traffic rights allocated to the Austrian carrier rather than its Irish parent.

As Lauda's Vienna base shrinks in terms of the number of aircraft based, it will also reduce its headcount. The carrier said that 12 pilots and 82 cabin crew members who did not accept the new collective labour agreement will be laid off.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Lauda currently operates 32 dry-leased A320-200s. The airline said that it has cancelled all future deliveries and renegotiated the terms of its existing leases as it prepares to shrink the fleet by two aircraft and halt any further growth in the near-term.