LONDON – On Friday evening March 1, 2019 a Laudamotion Airbus A320-200 with registration OE-LOA, was accelerating for takeoff from London Stansted Airport’s runway 22 when the crew had to abort take off after a loud bang was heard at one of the engines. The aircraft stopped about 270 meters/890 feet down the runway. The passengers were immediately evacuated via the emergency slides. 8 passengers received minor injuries as result of the evacuation.
A passenger reported there was a huge bang due to an engine failure. The A320 then skidded to a stop and passengers were evacuated via the slides.
A ground observer reported he saw a streak of flames came out of the left engine, followed by white sparks just when the aircraft had moved a few meters. The airline confirmed that the crew aborted take off immediately, due to the problem with one of the engines.
The A320 was about to fly to Vienna as Flight OE327 and had 169 passengers on board. A Boeing 737 from Ryanair – Ryanair purchased Laudamotion in December 2018 – later brought the victims to their final destination.
As a result of the incident, Stansted Airport’s only runway was closed for almost three hours, which meant that other flights had to divert to neighboring airports. Around 11:00 PM air traffic started again.
Laudamotion – formerly named Amira Air – is an Austrian low-cost airline. The airline was founded in 2004 as Amira Air by investor Ronny Pecik as a provider of charter flights for executive travel, serving European and international destinations.
In January 2018, Former Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda took over Amira Air and renamed the company Laudamotion. Up until February 2018, the airline operated chartered business flights with a fleet of business jets. Niki Lauda had a minority stake in the airline which he sold to Ryanair in December 2018.
In January 2019, Ryanair revealed that it completed the purchase of 100% of Laudamotion from NL Holdings in late December 2018. It also revealed further fleet expansion plans, with 25 aircraft by summer 2019 and 30 by summer 2020. Although Ryanair operates only Boeing aircraft, Laudamotion’s expanded fleet will remain exclusively Airbus.
(Top photo: ©Laudamotion)