Lauda Air was established in 1979 by former Formula One world motor racing champion Niki Lauda and started operations in 1985, initially operating charter and air taxi services. Scheduled operations were licenced in 1987 and in 1990 licences for international flights were obtained. In 1989 Lauda started its first long-haul flights.
It became a wholly owned subsidiary of Austrian Airlines in 2000. In 2005 the flight operation merged with Austrian Airlines, and the label Lauda Air now operates charter flights within the Austrian Airlines Group. The brand is to be retired in 2013.