Category Archives: Austrian Airlines

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:

Fleet:

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Lufthansa Group is looking to hire more than 5000 new employees in 2019

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement for 2019:

Approximately 5500 new employees will be cleared for takeoff with a career in Lufthansa Group this year – in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium alone, the home markets of the aviation group. The company is looking to hire over 1300 flight attendants – primarily at the Munich hub and at SWISS in Zürich. For the core Lufthansa brand, around 1200 new hires are planned at the Frankfurt and Munich hubs, in all business areas. Lufthansa Group is also hiring a large number of additional employees worldwide.

In addition, up to 500 future pilots are to begin their training as flight students with Lufthansa Aviation Training at the European Flight Academy in 2019. In order to stabilize flight operations after a turbulent summer, Lufthansa Group is investing approximately a quarter of a billion euros. For instance, around 600 employees are being hired to ensure quality in operations.

Highly professional environment and attractive employment conditions

There are over 500 job profiles in the globally operating aviation group that has over 550 subsidiaries and affiliates. Potential applicants can find available positions in the career portal Be-Lufthansa (www.be-lufthansa.com). Over 170,000 applications were submitted through this platform in 2018. “This shows once again how popular Lufthansa is as an employer with its various business areas,” says Bettina Volkens, Chief Officer Corporate Human Resources and Legal Affairs at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. As an international employer with employees hailing from 147 different countries, Lufthansa Group emphasizes diversity – and not just in terms of language and origin. “Equal opportunities for men and women at every level, that is what I stand for and that is what I stand up for,” Volkens says. “We offer a highly professional environment, attractive employment conditions and are standard-setting in professional training. Moving forward, we plan to bring even more young employees into the company than before as well as promote our talents through a wide range of programs.”

Wanted: technological know-how and IT skills

Lufthansa Technik Group is set to grow significantly this year: “Die Technik” is looking for over 1200 new colleagues in Germany, including several hundred operational employees, 400 direct entries and more than 200 apprentices. Lufthansa Group is also looking to hire well over 600 IT specialists in Germany. Lufthansa Systems already positioned itself successfully as an employer within the IT environment last year with the campaign “Aviation Heroes wanted”. And the same is true this year: IT is key, be that at Lufthansa Systems or at for example Industry Solutions (350 projected new hires) or Lufthansa Airlines (150). There is also a group-wide program that will employ 15 IT trainees.

Over 300 apprentices in Germany

Over 300 new positions for junior employees are planned in Germany for this year and almost 80 will start their vocational training at SWISS and Austrian Airlines in Switzerland and Austria. On top of this, around 60 trainees will be off to a flying start in Lufthansa Group this year. The group currently offers ten cooperative degree programs as well as vocational training in 29 different skilled occupations and several trainee programs.

Lufthansa Group at a glance: passenger transportation is the biggest business segment of Lufthansa Group and is carried out by the airlines Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Brussels Airlines as well as SunExpress. The other business areas, including logistics, engineering and catering and additional group companies are leaders in their respective fields.

As of September 30, 2018, Lufthansa Group had approximately 135,000 employees. Around 32,000 of them work at Lufthansa. With 40,000 employees, Lufthansa Group is the largest employer in Frankfurt and Hessen; the group has more than 70,000 employees in Germany.

Austrian Airlines expands fleet at the Vienna hub, 4 Q400s to return from Swiss

Austrian Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) OE-LGM (msn 4319) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 943817.

Austrian Airlines has issued this statement:

• Four additional aircraft starting in the summer of 2019
• Aircraft to be deployed for European flights

In an initial step, Austrian Airlines will deploy four additional aircraft at its home base at Vienna Airport in order to strengthen its own route network.

The 76-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft currently in operation for the Lufthansa Group sister company Swiss within the context of a wet lease agreement will be relocated from Switzerland to Austria. The recall of the first jet already took place at the end of October, and the three other aircraft will be successively returned to the Austrian flag carrier in the first half of 2019.

“We will not make it easy for the low cost carriers at Vienna Airport,” says Andreas Otto, Chief Commercial Officer of Austrian Airlines. “We are well prepared when it comes to service and very well positioned with our worldwide route network”, he adds.

Austrian Airlines already expanded its European route network when the winter flight schedule took effect. More than 40 additional flights to fourteen destinations have been operated each week since October 2018. The increase in the number of flights offered to North America in addition to the increase in European flights. The number of passengers transported by Austrian Airlines in October 2018 rose 11.7 percent to more than 1.3 million. On an accumulated basis, Austrian Airlines has flown more than 11.9 million passengers to their destinations in the period January-October 2018. This corresponds to a year-on-year rise of 8.6 percent.

Top Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) OE-LGM (msn 4319) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 943817.

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Austrian Airlines expands service to Tokyo

Named "Thailand"

Austrian Airlines made this announcement:

Starting at the end of March 2019, Austrian Airlines will operate six weekly flights from Vienna to Tokyo. As of the beginning of May until the end of October 2019 a daily connection will be offered. Up until now five flight connections per week were planned in the summer flight schedule of 2019.

“With this step we are reacting to the ongoing high level of demand on this route”, states Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto.

The additional flights will be operated with a Boeing 767-300 aircraft from existing capacities.

As a result, Austrian Airlines as well as its Star Alliance and joint venture partner ANA will each operate daily flights between Vienna and Tokyo as of 2019. Austrian Airlines flies to Narita Airport, whereas ANA departs from Haneda. “More than 37 million people live in Tokyo and its surroundings. Moreover, Japan is becoming an increasingly interesting destination for European tourists, for example due to the 2020 Summer Olympics”, explains Andreas Otto. “For this reason, the outlook is also good,” he adds.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Austrian): Austrian.com – my Austrian (Austrian Airlines) Boeing 767-31A ER WL OE-LAT (msn 25273) VIE (Tony Storck). Image: 939149.

Austrian aircraft slide show:

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Austrian Airlines wants more women in the cockpit

Austrian Airlines has made this announcement:

More aircraft, more flights and more staff. Austrian Airlines is continually expanding. In the first half of 2018 alone, Austria’s home carrier hired 400 new employees, mainly pilots and flight attendants. At present Austrian Airlines plans to add 100 fully trained pilots. In addition, training courses for future pilots will be offered again in the coming year. “We are pleased that we can offer so many career entry opportunities to experienced pilots and those who still want to become pilots”, says Helmut Haubenwaller, Head of Crew Training at Austrian Airlines.

More women in the cockpit
The job and training offering particularly targets women. Over the last three years, the percentage of female pilots at Austrian Airlines has risen from three percent in 2015 to the current level of five percent. This is a positive development. However, it also demonstrates that women are still strongly underrepresented in this profession. For this reason, the declared objective of Austrian Airlines is to have more women in the cockpits of its aircraft.

Learning to fly from scratch
Four so-called ab initio courses will be offered in 2019, each with 24 training positions for interested candidates without previous flight experience. The requirements demanded of prospective candidates include EU citizenship, a secondary school leaving certificate, a secondary school vocational certificate, or the subject-related university entrance qualification of the country of origin. Furthermore, candidates should be at least 165 cm tall and have an unrestricted passport. In addition, they should have a very good command of written and spoken German and English. People wearing glasses or contact lenses may only have maximum of +/- 3.0 diopter lenses. More information for potential applicants is available at www.austrianpilot.at.

Austrian Airlines will significantly expand its European route network in the winter

Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-216 OE-LXA (msn 3295) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 942247.

Austrian Airlines has made this announcement:

Austrian Airlines will significantly expand its European route network in the upcoming winter flight schedule 2018/19.

More than 40 additional flights each week will be operated to 14 destinations starting at the end of October 2018. This includes German cities such as Berlin, Dusseldorf and Hamburg as well as other destinations such as Copenhagen, Kiev, Athens and Krakow. These frequency increases will be made possible on the basis of enhanced efficiency in the route network. “Alongside the European flights we are increasing our frequencies to North America as well”, explains Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto. “As a result we are strengthening Vienna as hub for our flights.”

More flights to Germany, Denmark and Greece

As of the end of October 2018, Austrian Airlines will operate up to 48 weekly flights to Berlin-Tegel and 36 flights to Dusseldorf, an increase of seven flights per week in each case compared to the winter of 2017/18. Austrian Airlines will fly up to 29 times each week to Hamburg, or three additional flights in the upcoming winter flight schedule. On balance, Austria’s flag carrier will offer up to 17 more weekly flights to Germany or a total of up to 238 flight connections each week from Vienna to Germany.

Denmark’s capital city is also included in the drive to expand frequencies in Europe. Austrian Airlines will fly up to 30 times per week to Copenhagen starting at the end of October 2018, an increase of four flights compared to the last winter flight schedule.As of the end of October 2018, the number of weekly flights offered to Athens will be raised by four, from six to ten times each week. Daily flights will be operated to Thessaloniki, which is three times more often than in the 2017/18 winter flight schedule.

Strengthening of Eastern European core market Eastern Europe will remain an important market for Austrian Airlines. Kiev will be served up to 16 times per week in the upcoming winter flight schedule, which is five times more often than in the previous winter. All in all, Austrian Airlines will offer up to 30 weekly flight connections to destinations in Ukraine as of the end of October 2018. This not only encompasses the capital city of Kiev but also Dnipro, Lviv and Odessa.

One additional weekly flight will be operated to each of the destinations of Košice, Budapest, Belgrade and Sarajevo for a total of up to 63 flights per week. Austrian Airlines will offer flights to Warsaw and Krakow in Poland and increase its weekly offering to Krakow by two flights to make a total of up to thirteen times per week. Up to 18 weekly flights will be operated to Warsaw.

Romania is represented with three destinations in the Austrian Airlines 2018/9 winter flight schedule. Bucharest, Iasi and Sibiu will be served up to 41 times per week altogether.
Bulgaria will also continue to be an integral part of the Austrian Airlines flight schedule with two destinations. Up to 29 weekly flights will be operated to the capital city of Sofia, and daily flight service will be offered to the coastal town of Varna. As a result, Austrian Airlines aircraft will take off for Bulgarian destinations up to 36 times each week starting with the coming winter season.

Increased frequencies to North America and Tel Aviv

In addition to inaugurating flight service to the traditional holiday destination of Cape Town, Austrian Airlines is also expanding its long-haul flight service to North America effective at the start of the winter flight schedule 2018/19. As of the end of October 2018, up to thirteen flights will be operated to New York each week, a rise of six weekly flights compared to the last winter flight schedule. Furthermore, Austrian Airlines will operate daily flights to Chicago, comprising two more weekly flight connections compared to the winter flight schedule 2017/18. One additional flight will be offered each week to Toronto, pushing the weekly total to five flights. On balance, Austria’s national carrier will operate up to 30 flights to North American destinations in the upcoming winter flight schedule 2018/19.

Austrian Airlines is also increasing frequencies to Tel Aviv in addition to raising the number of flights to North America. Passengers who want to travel between North America and Israel via the flight hub of Vienna Airport can choose from up to 21 weekly flight connections to Tel Aviv starting at the end of October 2018, or more than double the number of Austrian Airlines flights compared to the last winter flight schedule.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Austrian): Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-216 OE-LXA (msn 3295) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 942247.

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Austrian Airlines signs new collective bargaining agreement for flight personnel valid until 2022

Austrian Airlines Embraer ERJ 190-200LR (ERJ 195) OE-LWE (msn 19000423) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 943133.

Austrian Airlines issued this statement:

• Significant rise in entry-level salaries for flight attendants
• Enhanced flexibility of working hours

Employer and employee representatives signed a new collective agreement applying to the Austrian Airlines flight personnel lasting until 2022. This agreement was preceded by long negotiations. In May and June 2018, the negotiating parties ultimately agreed on a key points paper for the collective bargaining agreement. Negotiations over the past months focused on formulating the texts and contractual details.

“For the first time we have concluded a collective agreement applying over a period of four years. The long-term validity of the agreement brings peace and stability to the company. Furthermore, working as flight attendants and pilots has once again become more appealing. We have raised entry-level salaries to a good level and also opened up new perspectives for our existing flight and cabin crew”, according to Human Resources Manager Nathalie Rau and Accountable Manager Jens Ritter of Austrian Airlines, who led the employer negotiating team.

As already presented in the key points paper, current salaries for flight attendants and pilots will be hiked by 5.5% in 2018 and 2.5% in 2019, to be followed by a 1.83% rise in 2020 and by an increase of at least 1.4% in 2021. Particular attention was paid to raising starting gross salaries for flight attendants, which will be increased by 10.7%, from EUR 1,533 to EUR 1,700. Allowances for cabin managers will also be raised.

At the same time, flight duty regulations were made considerably more flexible, enabling the company to more effectively compensate for seasonal fluctuations in passenger demand.


Austrian Airlines currently employs about 7,000 people, including 1,200 pilots and 2,400 flight attendants. The company is seeking to hire new employees for its cockpit and cabin crew.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Austrian): Austrian Airlines Embraer ERJ 190-200LR (ERJ 195) OE-LWE (msn 19000423) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 943133.

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