Category Archives: Austrian Airlines

Runway renewal at Salzburg Airport: Austrian Airlines expands railway offering between Salzburg Central Station and Vienna Airport

Salzway Airport will temporarily close until the end of May for runway work. During the closure Austrian Airlines is making alternate arrangements with this announcement:

The runway at Salzburg Airport will be renewed starting on April 24 and lasting until the end of May 2019.

All flight service to and from the airport will be suspended during this period.
For this reason, Austrian Airlines is offering expanded travel options by train between Salzburg’s Central Station and Vienna Airport. The existing AIRail offering in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) will be increased tenfold from three to up to 30 daily train connections until one week after the shutdown of the runway.
Accordingly, a Railjet with an Austrian Airlines flight number linking Salzburg and Vienna will be available to passengers every hour between 5 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Austrian Airlines customers enjoy various advantages, for example a guaranteed connection, regardless of whether their journey continues by plane or train. This means that in the case of an unexpected delay of the train or flight, passengers will be automatically booked on an alternative connecting service if they do not reach their train or flight on time. Business Class passengers travel in first class on the train and are also given free access to the ÖBB lounge before departure.
Moreover, passengers can collect miles on AIRail route within the context of the Miles & More program. Finally, there is also a catering voucher, which can be used in the ÖBB dining car. Travel time between Salzburg Central Station and Vienna Airport amounts to 2 hours 49 minutes.
All photos by Austrian Airlines and Salzburg Airport.

 

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Austrian Airlines to launch Montreal flights starting in 2019

Austrian Airlines has made this announcement:

Starting late April 2019, Austrian Airlines, Austria’s home carrier will introduce flights to

Montreal throughout the entire year i.e. daily in the summer flight schedule and five times per week in the winter season.

The Star Alliance and joint venture partner Air Canada will assume flights on the Vienna-Toronto route.

The flight connection between Vienna and Toronto will also be bookable as a codeshare flight via Austrian Airlines. Air Canada will begin year-round non-stop service on this route in late April 2019, onboard the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. These flights will operate daily in the summer and five times weekly during the winter season. Accordingly, Canada’s largest airline will operate the same number of flights on the Vienna-Toronto route and feature departure and arrival times comparable to Austrian Airlines up until now. 

Montreal and Toronto in the 2019 summer flight schedule 
The duration of the flight from Vienna to Montreal is about nine hours, to Toronto about ten hours. 

Route                      Flight number       Flight days   Departure – Arrival (local times)
Vienna – Montreal   OS 73 (AC 6211)  daily            10:30 a.m. – 1:35 p.m.
Montreal – Vienna   OS 74 (AC 6212)  daily            6:45 p.m. – 8:45 a.m. (next day)

Route                    Flight number        Flight days   Departure – Arrival (local times)
Vienna – Toronto   OS 8247 (AC 899) daily            10:40 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Toronto – Vienna   OS 8248 (AC 898) daily            6:25 p.m. – 8:30 a.m. (next day)

Austrian Airlines reports its 2018 financial results, gives 2019 outlook

Austrian.com - my Austrian (Austrian Airlines) Airbus A321-111 OE-LBC (msn 581) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 927793.

• Expensive fuel: Adjusted EBIT down from EUR 93 million to EUR 83 million in 2018
• High demand: strong passenger growth
• Tough competition: CEO von Hoensbroech sees a challenging year 2019

Austrian Airlines, Austria’s flag carrier, generated an adjusted EBIT of EUR 83 million in the 2018 financial year, comprising a decline of eleven percent from the prior-year level. However, Austrian Airlines once again succeeded in setting a new passenger record. The airline transported 13.9 million passengers, up eight percent year-on-year. Revenue climbed to EUR 2.2 billion.

“We are pleased with the new all-time high in passenger volume. Despite competition from low-cost carriers, an increasing number of people are deciding to fly with Austrian Airlines. However, we are feeling the impact of competition on the earnings side. Moreover, the high jet fuel prices burden business results”, comments CFO Wolfgang Jani.

Business results in detail

After applying the rules contained in IFRS 15*, revenue fell mathematically by eight percent to EUR 2,178 million, as did total operating revenue, which also fell eight percent to EUR 2,255 million. However, adjusted for this effect, revenue and total operating revenue actually increased by five percent and four percent respectively. Operating expenditures declined by eight percent to EUR 2,172 million but rose five percent when adjusted for the effect of applying IFRS 15. This was largely attributable to jet fuel costs, which rose by 16% or a total of EUR 61 million to EUR 442 million. Accordingly, the “refueling bill” comprises one of the largest expense items, accounting for about 20 percent of total operating expenditures.

The adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT), the most important performance indicator in the Lufthansa Group, fell by eleven percent or EUR 10 million to EUR 83 million in 2018. As a result, the adjusted EBIT margin was down from 3.9 percent to 3.8 percent. Moreover, a special effect of EUR 40.5 million was reported in 2018, namely the changed accounting treatment for jet engine overhauls. Excluding this effect, the adjusted EBIT would have declined by 55 percent. Earnings before interest and taxes, which also includes book gains from sales of aircraft or aircraft parts, decreased by ten percent or EUR 10 million, from EUR 100 million in 2017 to EUR 90 million in 2018.

Route network: increased frequencies on long-haul and medium-haul flights

In terms of its route network, Austrian Airlines can point to a good track record with respect to the realignment of its long-haul destinations. As is publicly known, it terminated flight service in 2018 to long-haul destinations such as Colombo, Havana and Hong Kong which did not function very well, and increased frequencies on existing North America routes.

“This strategy seems to be working. The advance bookings for the summer of 2019 are looking very good”, emphasizes CEO von Hoensbroech. At the end of March, respectively end of April 2019, Tokyo will be included once again in the route network and the airline will also begin operating flights to the Canadian city of Montreal.

One million more passengers

The growth of the fleet and the improved product offering was also reflected in passenger volumes. In the period January to December 2018, Austrian Airlines transported 13.9 million passengers, which comprises a new passenger record once again since the airline was founded in 1957. One million more people flew with Austrian Airlines in 2018, a rise of eight percent. The flight offering in available seat kilometers (ASK) climbed by six percent. Nevertheless, the airline succeeded in more effectively marketing the expanded offering. Capacity utilization (passenger load factor) clearly improved to 79.3 percent from the prior-year level of 76.8 percent.

In 2018, Austrian Airlines operated a total of 150,963 flights using 83 aircraft, or an average of 414 flights per day. The regularity of operation was 98.0 percent, whereas the punctuality rate on arrival equaled 77.2 percent.

The total staff of the Austrian Airlines amounted to 7,083 employees as at the balance sheet date of December 31, 2018 (2017: 6,914 employees). The increase of 169 employees representing a rise of two percent is mainly related to the hiring of flight attendants.

Outlook 2019: A year of challenges

Austrian Airlines anticipates a challenging year 2019 due to strong competition from low-cost carriers at Vienna Airport and upcoming investments in aircraft, digitization of workplaces, devices and its product offering. “The #DriveTo25 strategy we presented will give us the necessary boost to earnings to enable us to make the necessary investments”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech. “However, the strategy also simultaneously involves restructuring measures and investments. This will be accompanied by intensified competition in Vienna. For this reason, we expect a weaker year 2019.”

As announced in January 2019, Austrian Airlines plans to upgrade its medium-haul fleet with ten additional aircraft by the year 2021, investing a total of EUR 200 million. On balance, this will increase the airline’s offering in Vienna by more than ten percent. At the same time, Austrian Airlines will phase out its turboprop aircraft earlier than planned.

Top Copyright Photo: Austrian.com – my Austrian (Austrian Airlines) Airbus A321-111 OE-LBC (msn 581) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 927793.

Austrian aircraft slide show:

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Lufthansa Group orders 40 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A350-900 aircraft, will sell 6 A380s

Lufthansa Group is consistently forging ahead with the modernization of its long-haul fleet. In today’s meeting, based on the recommendation of the Executive Board, the Supervisory Board approved the purchase of a total of 40 state-of-the-art aircraft for the group’s airlines. The 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners (above) and 20 additional Airbus A350-900 planes will primarily be replacing four-engine aircraft. The new planes will be delivered between late 2022 and 2027.

The order has a list-price investment volume of $12 billion USD. As is usual with such orders, Lufthansa Group has negotiated a significant price reduction. The parties have agreed not to disclose the actual purchase price.

“By replacing four-engine planes with new models, we are laying a sustainable foundation for our future in the long run. In addition to the cost-effectiveness of the A350 and B787, the significantly lower CO2 emissions of this new generation of long-haul aircraft was also a decisive factor in our investment decision. Our responsibility for the environment is becoming more and more important as a criterion for our decisions,” says Carsten Spohr, CEO and Chairman of Lufthansa Group.

The decision regarding which airline will deploy the aircraft at which hub will be made at a later date.

The investment in new technology, efficiency and passenger comfort is a continuation of the ongoing fleet modernization of the group’s airlines. The arilines of the Lufthansa Group currently operate a long-haul fleet of 199 aircraft (as of December 2018), including twelve state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Beginning in 2020, Lufthansa will be introducing the new Boeing 777-9.

Investment in modern, fuel-efficient and low-noise aircraft

With the Airbus A350-900, the Boeing 777-9 and the Boeing 787-9, Lufthansa Group will own the most fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft of their class in terms of kerosene consumption per passenger and 100 kilometers flown. This order highlights the company’s desire to invest in cutting-edge technology in the interest of the environment. On average, the new aircraft will only consume around 2.9 liters of kerosene per passenger and 100 kilometers flown. That is 25% below what is used by predecessor aircraft, which will likewise have a positive impact on the CO2 footprint.

The Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A350-900 aircraft that have been ordered will primarily be replacing four-engine aircraft. By the middle of the next decade, the entire long-haul fleet will have been modernized. The possible fuel savings alone add up to 500,000 metric tons per year. This is equivalent to a CO2 reduction of 1.5 million metric tons.

A consistent focus on cost

With the new, more economical aircraft, the operating cost compared to the earlier models will sink by around 20 percent. In addition to this, Lufthansa Group will be significantly reducing the diversification and complexity of its fleet over the next few years and taking seven aircraft types out of service, which will reduce cost and complexity for maintenance and the supply of replacement parts, among other things.

After the long-haul aircraft rollover, the company will be offering its customers one of the world’s most modern fleets. This will also involve a significant increase in comfort and reliability.

Sale of six Airbus A380 aircraft

In today’s session, the Lufthansa Group Executive Board also informed the Supervisory Board of the sale of six of its 14 Airbus A380 planes to Airbus. The aircraft will be leaving Lufthansa in 2022 and 2023. The parties have agreed not disclose the purchasing price. The transaction will not affect the group’s earnings performance.

Lufthansa continuously monitors the profitability of its world-wide route network. As a consequence, the group is reducing the size of its Airbus A380 fleet from 14 aircraft to eight for economic reasons. The structure of the network and the long-haul fleet, fundamentally optimized according to strategic aspects, will give the company more flexibility and at the same time increase its efficiency and competitiveness. This will of course also benefit Lufthansa’s customers.

Austrian Airlines to offer more flights to Paris, Amsterdam and Copenhagen this summer

Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-216 OE-LXB (msn 3482) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 941835.

Austrian Airlines has made this announcement:

Austrian Airlines will increase frequencies to other European destinations in the upcoming summer flight schedule in addition to the previously announced expansion of its offering primarily to Germany. It will offer twelve more weekly flights to Paris than in the summer flight schedule 2018. On balance, Austria’s home carrier will offer a total of 39 weekly flights to the “City of Love”.


One additional daily flight connection to Amsterdam will be offered, or seven more flights each week. Overall, Austrian Airlines will have 34 weekly flights to Amsterdam in its portfolio.

Travelers to Copenhagen can also be pleased with the addition of four weekly flight connections. Thus, Austrian Airlines will operate 31 flights per week on the Vienna-Copenhagen route. All the above-mentioned changes apply to flights starting on May 1, 2019.

Above Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-216 OE-LXB (msn 3482) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 941835.

Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show:

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Austrian Airlines adds additional flights to Germany, Japan and the USA for the summer

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2018

Austrian Airlines has made this announcement about its upcoming Summer 2019 Schedule:

Austrian Airlines will once again offer a dense network of destinations in the summer of 2019.

The number of flight connections to Germany will be increased. Holidaymakers have the option of selecting among different destinations for example in Greece, Italy, Spain and many more. There is also a premiere on the airline’s long-haul offering starting at the end of April. “We already look forward to our inaugural flight to Montreal. Moreover, we will introduce two additional flight connections to Tokyo in the summer and thus fly there daily”, says Andreas Otto, Member of the Management Board and CCO of Austrian Airlines.

The summer flight schedule will take effect on March 31, 2019.

Continued focus on Germany

Austrian Airlines will once again increase the number of flights from Vienna to Germany in the upcoming summer season. Accordingly, Austria’s home carrier will fly up to 39 times per week to Hamburg, comprising a rise of eleven flight connections compared to the 2018 summer flight schedule. Up to 56 flights will be offered to Berlin-Tegel and up to 40 weekly connections to Düsseldorf, an increase of two per week in each case. One additional flight will be operated to Stuttgart, pushing up the total to 32 flights per week. On balance, Austrian Airlines is expanding its flight offering from Vienna to Germany by up to fifteen frequencies each week. All in all, it will operate as many as 263 weekly flights linking Vienna and Germany.

On holiday to Greece, Italy or Spain

Starting in the summer season, Austrian Airlines will fly up to 56 times each week to a total of 17 destinations in Greece. This includes popular holiday islands such as Crete (Chania and Heraklion), Corfu, Karpathos and Rhodes.

Italy continues to be a coveted holiday destination. As a result, the summer flight schedule includes twelve Italian destinations, for example Catania, Olbia, Cagliari and most recently Brindisi. On balance, Austrian Airlines will offer as many as 112 weekly flights to destinations in Italy.

Vacationers going to Spain can take advantage of Austrian Airlines flights to the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. Accordingly, one flight per week will take off from Vienna to Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Tenerife, whereas flight service will be operated to Ibiza twice a week and once weekly to Menorca.

Central and Eastern Europe remain core markets

Austrian Airlines is retaining its position as the flight specialist for Central and Eastern Europe. In the upcoming summer months, the Austrian flag carrier will offer as many as 441 flights per week to 33 destinations in the region. Alongside the previously mentioned destinations in Greece, the offering includes 42 weekly flights to the Ukrainian cities of Kiev, Dnipro, Lviv and Odessa. The portfolio also consists of three destinations in Romania, with up to 47 flights per week operated to Bucharest, Iasi and Sibiu.

Austrian Airlines’ offering to Russia amounts to as many as 27 weekly flights to Moscow, St. Petersburg and Krasnodar.

Up to 20 flights per week will be offered to Belgrade, representing an increase of two frequencies from the summer flight schedule 2018. One additional flight connection will be offered to Skopje, pushing up the total to a maximum of fourteen weekly flights.

Flight service to Montreal as of April and more flights to Japan and the USA

The first Austrian Airlines flight to Montreal will depart from Vienna on April 29, 2019, with daily flights scheduled to the Canadian metropolis. Frequencies to Tokyo will be increased following the successful resumption in 2018. One Austrian Airlines aircraft will take off for Japan each day in the summer, two more than in the previous year. North America is represented with five other destinations in the summer flight schedule in addition to Montreal.

One of them is Miami. Florida’s metropolis will be served four times each week in the summer season. Austrian Airlines will increase its flight offering to the popular tourist destination of Los Angeles by one weekly connection thus serving it on a daily basis. One more flight will also be operated to New York, with one daily flight scheduled to each of the New York airports of JFK and Newark. All in all, Austria’s home carrier will have as many as 46 weekly flights heading towards North America in its flight program.

Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-214 OE-LBM (msn 1504) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 944773.

Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show:

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Austrian Airlines to expand its Airbus fleet, will phase out its 18 Bombardier Q400s by 2021

Austrian Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) OE-LGL (msn 4310) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 938226.

Austrian Airlines plans to expand its Airbus fleet from the current 36 planes to a total of 46 over the next three years. At the same time, its 18 76-seat Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop aircraft will be phased out by 2021. Flights from Vienna will also be expanded by more than ten percent.

Austrian Airlines has announced:

Austrian Airlines has managed the turnaround after a tough restructuring period and now operates profitably. The airline is also headed towards positive operating earnings in 2018 following strong passenger growth of more than one million customers, comprising a year-on-year rise of 8.5 percent. The solid demand by passengers and increasing competition in Vienna has led the red-white-red national carrier to lay the strategic foundations for the future. The airline’s Airbus fleet will already be expanded from the current 36 planes to a total of 46 aircraft over the next three years.

At the same time, Austrian Airlines will phase out its 18 turboprop aircraft with 76 seats. On balance, the flight offering from Vienna will be expanded by more than ten percent, in light of the fact that jets belonging to the Airbus A320 family are considerably larger than the turboprops.

In April Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT) will already begin construction work on expanding the simulator training center at Vienna Airport in order to create sufficient space for two additional A320 flight simulators for pilot training purposes. Completion of the extension project involving costs of EUR 20 million is planned for the first quarter of 2020. At present four simulators are being operated in Vienna (for Dash, Embraer and A320 aircraft).

Triggered by plans to phase out the Dash aircraft, Austrian Airlines intends to reorganize decentralized bilateral flight traffic between Austria and Germany within the Lufthansa Group. For example, it is much easier for Lufthansa to fly from its (centralized) flight hub in Frankfurt than vice versa. “We are already holding talks with our sister companies in the Group”, von Hoensbroech says. Austrian Airlines considers decentralized flight traffic to encompass all of its flights which do not depart from Vienna Airport, for example on the Salzburg-Frankfurt or Linz-Düsseldorf routes. Flights between Vienna and the federal provinces of Austria will remain unaffected at the moment. As already announced, the four aircraft currently deployed by the Group sister airline Swiss in Switzerland under a wet lease agreement will be transferred to Vienna at the end of the winter flight schedule.

In this connection, Austrian Airlines will transfer all existing decentralized flight crew bases located in Altenrhein, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz and Salzburg to Vienna. The 200 impacted employees will be offered the opportunity to work in Vienna.

Fleet decision, network simplification and transfer of the decentralized crew bases are three main aspects of the 10-point program called #DriveTo25, which the Austrian Airlines Management Board presented to the general public today. The new strategy was already acknowledged and approved at the most recent meeting of the Supervisory Board of Austrian Airlines held at the end of November 2018.

An overview of the 10-Point Program #DriveTo25:

1. “Operational Excellence”: In spite of adverse conditions i.e. airspace congestion, Austrian Airlines succeeded in maintaining a level of punctuality and reliability above the European average in 2018. In 2019, the airline wants to improve its processes and once again achieve the world-class level of flight operations customers are used to with the help of digitalization and a closer cooperation with Vienna Airport.

2. Austrian Airlines also wants to review its administrative and operational processes and save EUR 20-30 million on the basis of simplification, digitalization and avoiding duplication. Savings are to be avoided which are to the detriment of customers.

3. Under the heading “New Premium”, Austrian Airline’s efforts should place a greater emphasis on the customer and his needs. Personalized product improvements should position Austrian Airlines as the first-choice carrier. This Lufthansa Group-wide product strategy is to be coordinated from Vienna.

4. With a catchment area of 11 million inhabitants and a transfer rate of about 50%, Austrian Airlines also plays the role of a hub carrier, and Vienna Airport serves as its flight hub. This function should be strengthened in the future on the basis of a stronger orientation of the route network to Vienna. In turn, there will be a realignment of decentralized flight traffic within the Lufthansa Group. Examples of decentralized routes are Innsbruck-Frankfurt and Linz-Düsseldorf. There is high demand on these routes, but they also generate a high level of complexity because the aircraft cannot be productively deployed due to the rotations for the crews as well as technical maintenance.

5. In order to avoid overly complicated crew rotations, the decentralized crew bases currently being operated in Altenrhein, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz and Salzburg will be relocated to Vienna. The 200 employees will be given the opportunity of employment in Vienna.

6. Technical Operations: Austrian Airlines aims to place even greater priority on the technical maintenance of its own aircraft in the future. At present the airline is also strongly involved in third-party business, which will be cut back. Third-party business means that maintenance and repair work is also carried out on aircraft operated by other airlines.

7. Continental fleet: Austrian Airlines will part ways with its turboprop aircraft earlier than planned and remove them from the fleet by 2021. At the same time, it will expand its medium-haul Airbus fleet to 46 planes. The airline currently operates 18 DHC-8-400 (Q400) turboprops and 36 Airbus A320 jets.

This step will eliminate complexity from the fleet structure by avoiding the need to operate and service one type of aircraft. A precise plan is being developed to determine when particular turboprop aircraft will be relinquished and when the A320 aircraft will be acquired. The restructuring of the fleet will comprise an improvement for the network and customers, as the routes deploying Dash jets will be served in the future by Embraer aircraft, and Airbus planes will be operated on routes currently served by the Embraer.

8. Intercontinental fleet: Austrian Airlines realigned its intercontinental network with the 2018/19 winter flight schedule. After a trial period, flight service on unprofitable routes such as Havana, Colombo and Hong Kong was cancelled and the offering to North America was expanded to the same extent. Frequencies on existing routes such as New York and Chicago were increased to daily flight service. By the way, Austrian Airlines will also remove the Seychelles from its flight offering after the winter season and cease flights there at the end of April. In contrast, Mauritius and the Maldives will remain in the flight offering as well-established “warm water destinations”.

The objective is to enhance profitability in order to modernize the long-haul fleet in a subsequent step. The six Boeing 767-300 aircraft with an average age of close to 23 years should be replaced by more modern aircraft at some point in time. In addition, the airline operates six younger Boeing 777 jets with an average age of close to 18 years. In contrast to normal passenger vehicles, aircraft can be deployed for 30 years or longer with the proper maintenance in light of the fact that airplane parts are continually subject to a complete overhaul.

9. Stakeholder Roadmap: Austrian Airlines to strengthen Vienna as an aviation hub in cooperation with its partners. For example, this includes the recently launched “ZOVI” initiative (Zukunftsoffensive Verkehr & Infrastruktur – Future Transport and Infrastructure Program) launched by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology.

10. Finally, Austrian Airlines wants to digitalize and modernize itself, its workplaces and working equipment and not only its aircraft. For example, the entire cabin crew has been equipped with tablets, and in 2019 the Austrian Airlines Traffic Control Center at Vienna Airport will be refurbished.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Austrian Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) OE-LGL (msn 4310) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 938226.

Austrian aircraft slide show:

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