Irish LCC Ryanair subsidiary LaudaMotion will double its Palma de Mallorca, Spain-based fleet from two to four Airbus A320s beginning in June.

The move is in response to the bankruptcy of Germania, which had a base in Palma, and the closure of Norwegian’s base there.

“With the inclusion of numerous new routes and the increase in frequencies on existing routes, we were able to respond directly and extremely quickly to the changed market situation, increased demand and [be] well prepared for the coming summer,” LaudaMotion CEO Andreas Gruber said.

The additional aircraft will also allow the Austrian LCC to offer new opportunities for the former Germania and Norwegian crews in Palma, he said.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary told ATW recently he sees growth potential for Ryanair and LaudaMotion in Europe as other airlines scale back, citing Norwegian’s plan to close crew bases in Italy and Spain.

“We need to move quickly to take those slot opportunities as most of the airlines are cutting back growth plans,” O’Leary said. “Others shrink, we grow.”

In the coming weeks, LaudaMotion is looking to establish new bases in eastern and western Europe, each with three aircraft, O’Leary said. Possible locations are Hungary, Poland, the Baltics, Portugal and Spain.

During the summer, LaudaMotion will operate 21 A320s and four Boeing 737-800s wet-leased from Ryanair.

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at