ATW Online; Tuesday 21 May 2019
Austrian airline founder and F1 hero Lauda dies

Niki Lauda, a Formula One racing champion who went on to create and run three airlines, has died aged 70.

Lauda, who underwent lung transplantation surgery last year did not fully recover. He died in a Zurich clinic May 20. “For the last ten months we have been at his side every minute…but in the end Niki left his powers yesterday,” his family said in a statement.

A three-time F1 champion, Lauda became a sports hero after surviving a crash during the 1976 German Grand Prix. His car caught fire and he was severely burned; his lungs were also damaged by heat and toxic fumes. Yet he returned to racing just 40 days later.

A pilot and aviation enthusiast, he was a brand ambassador for Bombardier Business Aircraft and he founded five airlines including three in his home country of Austria—Lauda Air, NIKI and LaudaMotion.

He formed LCC LaudaMotion in 2018. Ryanair took a 75% stake in the company and then made it a 100% subsidiary.

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By: Kurt Hofmann
NS Comment: A remarkable guy. Condolences to the bereaved family.