Category Archives: Tyrolean Airways

Austrian Airlines finally finds labor peace with its pilots and cabin staff, flight operations to return to Austrian on March 1, 2015

Austrian Airlines‘ (Vienna) flights and aircraft (except one Boeing 777) are currently operated by Tyrolean Airways and its staff. Representatives of the pilots, flight attendants and management of Tyrolean Airways (Austrian Airlines Group) agreed on a new collective wage agreement effective December 1, 2014. The new contract will allow flight operations to once again be transferred back to Austrian Airlines on March 1, 2015. The company issued this statement:

Following a new and intense round of negotiations, the management and Works Council for the flight and cabin crew of Tyrolean Airways agreed last night on the cornerstones of a new Group collective wage agreement for the approximately 3,200 members of the flight staff. A framework agreement to this effect was already signed by the social partners. The Supervisory Board of Austrian Airlines also gave its stamp of approval to the proposal solution.

“I am relieved. The agreement is the best of all the options open to Austrian Airlines. We managed just in time to prevent the possible reorganization of the airline”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht. “The negotiating partners demonstrated a sense of responsibility. I pay tribute to them.”

The framework agreement serves as the basis for a new Group collective wage agreement which will be drafted in detail and already apply to the approximately 900 pilots and 2,300 flight attendants as of December 1, 2014. The agreement regulates future salaries and retirement benefits, working time and career development for the cockpit and cabin crew. The parties to the negotiations agreed not to disclose any details about the agreement.

“It was very difficult to find a viable solution. However, ultimately the shared desire helped us achieve our goal“, says Klaus Froese, Managing Director of Tyrolean Airways and chief negotiator on the employer’s side. “On the basis of the agreement that has been reached, especially thanks to the targeted legal certainty, we have now laid the foundations for the good development of our company.”

A key aspect of the negotiated solution is also the transfer of flight operations to Austrian Airlines effective March 1, 2015. In this connection special severance payments were agreed upon.

“Due to the agreement we now have a new starting point for a new, unified Austrian Airlines – flown by Austrian, operated by Austrian. We can now concentrate on designing the future. This includes the modernization of the fleet“, Jaan Albrecht adds.

Austrian Airlines employs a total staff of 6,300 employees. The fleet is comprised of 78 aircraft, which fly to about 130 destinations from its home airport in Vienna.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Austrian Airlines’ (operated by Tyrolean Airways) Boeing 737-6Z9 WL OE-LNM (msn 30138) arrives at London (Heathrow).

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

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Tyrolean Airways to operate a Bombardier Q400 for Swiss for the domestic Zurich-Lugano route

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) took delivery of its 15th Bombardier DHC-8-402 (OE-LGO, msn 4281) on July 21. The turboprop is operated by lower-cost Tyrolean Airways under the Tyrolean AOC and the Austrian brand.

The group has announced it will operate the type on a wet lease basis for fellow Lufthansa Group carrier Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) on a Swiss domestic route starting on November 1 between the Swiss hub at Zurich and Lugano. In the future, four flights each day will be operated on this route. By deploying the larger aircraft, Swiss will be able to increase its capacity on the route by 50 percent.

With the arrival of OE-LGO, the fleet of the Austrian Airlines Group will reach a total of 76 aircraft. All but one Austrian-titled aircraft is operated by Tyrolean Airways.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister-ship Bombardier DHC-8-402 (marketed as the Q400) OE-LGD (msn 4027) lands at Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg (BSL).

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

No labor peace at Austrian Airlines-Tyrolean Airways and also no contract and no merger due to tense labor negotiations

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) and Tyrolean Airways (Innsbruck and Vienna) have met with stiff resistance and a possible strike from its unions on its recent proposals for a new contract and hopefully some labor peace. As a result, Tyrolean Airways has now withdrawn its offer for a new contract as previously reported. In addition, Tyrolean Airways will not be merged into Austrian Airlines. Lower cost Tyrolean Airways currently operates all aircraft (except one Boeing 777-200) for Austrian Airlines under the Austrian brand. The company has also decided not to pursue a replacement program for the Fokker jet aircraft due to this uncertain labor environment. The group issued this statement:

• Threat of industrial action or even a strike met with incomprehension
• Works Council considers the old collective wage agreement to be the basis for negotiations
• “Old collective wage agreement would lead into an economic dead end”

After ten months of negotiations the management of Tyrolean Airways has withdrawn its offer for a new Group collective wage agreement. Last Monday the Works Council responded to the presented offer by holding a general staff meeting and threatening industrial actions or even a strike – a total of 34 flights had to be cancelled, and almost 3,000 passengers were affected by the disruption of normal flight operations.

Moreover, at the first round of negotiations following the announcement of the offer, Karl Minhard, Chairman of the Works Council for the flight and cabin crew, declared that from his point of view the basis for negotiations is still the original collective wage agreement applying to the former flight staff of Austrian Airlines. In January, both parties had still defined the goal of reaching an agreement by May 31, 2014.

“We would not manage to achieve this under the prevailing circumstances, neither with respect to the timing or the contents”, says Klaus Froese, Managing Director of Tyrolean Airways. “The past cannot be the answer to an economically challenging future. The old collective wage agreement would lead us straight into an economic dead end”, he adds. As a reminder: for six consecutive years Austrian Airlines operated in the red. As of 2013 the company was again in the black, as a result of strict cost management and after the termination of the old collective wage agreement.

After consulting with the Executive Board of Austrian Airlines, the management of Tyrolean Airways decided to take the proposed solution off the agenda. “We have to remain punctual and reliable, especially when people are planning their summer vacations. Flight disruptions and cancellations are not acceptable for our customers”, Froese adds.

Thereby, for the time being, also the offer of merging Tyrolean Airways and Austrian Airlines is no longer under discussion. The management of Austrian Airlines does not believe it is an opportune time to make the potential investments of up to EUR 1 billion to replace the Fokker aircraft and expand long haul routes. This is because the former collective wage agreement does not provide a sound basis for such investments.

“We will now deliberate which options we have. Naturally my door remains open for serious negotiations about an economically viable Austrian Airlines”, Froese emphasizes.

The management remains confident with respect to the lawsuits filed by the trade union and the Works Council. The transfer of flight operations to Tyrolean was economically essential and also legally permissible.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. The Fokker 70s and 100s operated by Tyrolean Airways are not likely to replaced any time soon with this uncertainty. Fokker F.28 Mk. 0100 (Fokker 100) OE-LVC (msn 11446) arrives in Amsterdam.

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Austrian Airlines wants labor peace, proposes a new collective agreement offer, opens up the possibility of merging Austrian with subsidiary Tyrolean Airways

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) and its subsidiary Tyrolean Airways (Innsbruck) have presented to its employees a “framework plan for a collective wage agreement applying to flight personnel throughout the entire Austrian Airlines Group. Following the failed negotiations in 2012, the entire flight operations of Austrian Airlines were transferred to its subsidiary Tyrolean Airways, encompassing about 1,900 employees and all the aircraft. Now the company is making employees a new offer i.e. a new Austrian Airlines Group collective wage agreement as a means of increasing planning certainty and creating the basis for future decisions. Negotiations designed to work out specific details should be concluded by May 31, 2014. This collective wage agreement opens up the possibility to merge Tyrolean Airways and Austrian Airlines in the future.”

The company continued:

“The contents of the offer are based on ten months of joint negotiations with the Works Council, trade union and Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. The new agreement acts as a bridgehead from the past aiming to lead Austrian Airlines into the future. Our employees wish for an agreement and a clear perspective moving forward. They also desire to return to Austrian Airlines. We want to make this possible”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht.

The cornerstones of the new Group collective wage agreement:

The cornerstones of the new Group collective wage agreement are new flight duty rules, a new salary scale, a profit sharing scheme based on the net profit, a revised pension fund model as well as a new career model for the cabin and cockpit staff.

The current flight duty rules are based on the former collective bargaining agreement applying to Tyrolean Airlines. The new stipulations more effectively takes into consideration the demands involved in operating a long-haul fleet. In contrast to the rejected negotiated settlement concluded in 2012, the salaries of the senior staff members formerly with Austrian Airlines will not be reduced but will stay frozen at their current status until the new salary scale catches up to this level. A profit sharing scheme for employees based on the company’s net profit is also a new component of the agreement. Austrian Airlines has been operating profitably again since 2013 and will enable its employees to participate in its business success.

Another key feature of the new collective wage agreement is a revised pension fund model. Partial payments will be offered to those employees who were previously covered by the Austrian Airlines company pension plan. Depending on the length of service and the respective position, this ranges from about EUR 15,000 for flight attendants to EUR 305,000 for flight captains. A new career model for the cabin crew and cockpit staff, which also facilitates the transfer between the various staff groups, is also part of the offering.

“The most difficult task was developing a new career model. Other airlines have failed precisely for this reason”, states Klaus Froese, Managing Director of Tyrolean Airways. “The centerpiece of our model is a transparent and fair allocation formula for pilots of the regional fleet and pilots of larger types of aircraft to be appointed to vacant plane captain jobs”, he adds.

Stability and planning certainty for employees and the company:

“We want to offer our employees an improved basis for their own personal career planning. I believe that this package of measures provides a good opportunity for this. Today I have asked the employees to authorize their representatives to carry out negotiations on this”, Froese continues.

Last week the negotiating team presented the principal features of the new collective wage agreement to the Works Council for flight and cabin crew (Betriebsrat Bord) of Tyrolean Airways, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the trade union. Now negotiations are to be conducted on specific details of the agreement provided that the Works Council is willing to do so. “I think that we have reached a balanced agreement as the basis for negotiations. Now it is all about getting down to specifics”, Froese says. “However, we have to come to a conclusion after ten months of negotiations. The employees want a solution to be reached, and the company must be able to plan ahead.”

If an agreement can be reached with the Works Council, this would mean much more to the employees than just working in accordance with a collective wage agreement. A collective agreement for the entire Austrian Airlines Group would serve as the basis for a merger of Tyrolean Airways and Austrian Airlines. For the customers, the bottom line is that there would only be one brand. “Flown by Austrian, operated by Austrian“, is the way Froese describes it.

Basis for development of the fleet:

“The restructuring measures implemented over the past few years have put Austrian Airlines in a better financial position. We are once again operating profitably and want to take the next steps into the future. We have Lufthansa’s support for this”, explains Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht.

“This year Austrian Airlines will make a forward-looking decision and move ahead with ordering a successor model to its fleet of Fokker aircraft. However, such a significant investment decision cannot be made without a consensus being reached on a collective wage agreement”, Albrecht continues.

At the present time the Austrian Airlines Group has a work force of about 6,300 employees, of which about 3,100 employees comprise the cockpit and cabin staff. A new collective agreement with the ground staff was concluded last year with the help of the trade union and the Works Council.

 

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Tyrolean Airways now operates all Austrian Airlines-titled aircraft except one Boeing 777-200 which Austrian officially maintains on its AOC to keep it active. It is very challenging for both Austrian Airlines and its employees to operate an international airline on a regional airline contract. Operated by Tyrolean Airways-employed flight crews, Boeing 777-2B8 ER OE-LPD (msn 35960) completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa’s transfer of Austrian Airlines employees to cheaper Tyrolean Airways deemed illegal by a Vienna court

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) in 2012 orchestrated the transfer of around 2,000 staff members of its Austrian Airlines (Vienna) subsidiary to the cheaper Tyrolean Airways (Innsbruck) subsidiary to reduce overall costs. A Vienna court ruled yesterday (September 2) that the move was illegal and the employees were still employed by Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines stated it would appeal the verdict of the Vienna Labor and Social Affairs Court. The transfer was the heart of the loss-making airline’s restructuring plan and its attempt to return to profitability along with the Lufthansa Group.

Currently Tyrolean Airways is operating all Austrian Airlines-branded aircraft (except one Boeing 777) as Austrian Airlines flights. The one Triple Seven is keeping the Austrian Airlines AOC alive.

Read the full report from Euronews: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines-branded Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPA (msn 28698) pictured departing from Tokyo (Narita) is actually being operated Tyrolean Airways-employed crews on the Tyrolean AOC until the Vienna court deemed the crews to be considered Austrian Airlines employees again! What will now happen to the Tyrolean crews who were operating alongside Austrian crews?

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Austrian Airlines to concentrate all Tyrolean Airways administration functions in Vienna, 100 jobs to be cut

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) is making further changes at its lower-cost Tyrolean Airways (Innsubruck) subsidiary. All Austrian Airlines aircraft, except one aircraft, are now operated by Tyrolean in the Austrian brand since July 1, 2012. Boeing 777-2Z9 OE-LPB was kept on the Austrian certificate to maintain Austrian as an operating airline.

All Tyrolean aircraft maintenance and the call center functions will remain in Innsbruck. However all administrative functions will now be centered in Vienna. All crew operations and traffic control will also be concentrated in Vienna. This will result in the loss of 100 positions.

Austrian expects to turn to profitability this year.

Read the full report (in German): CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. The only true Austrian Airlines-operated aircraft, this former Lauda Air Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPB (msn 28699), arrives at Bangkok.

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Austrian Airlines sets its restructuring platform for 2013, won’t ask Lufthansa for any more money

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) has outlined it restructuring plans which will be fully implemented in 2013 including moving all operational administration to Innsbruck under Tyrolean Airways which operating all Austrian aircraft (except one). 150 administrative jobs will also be eliminated. Struggling Austrian Airlines will not ask its parent Lufthansa for any additional money, after receiving $119 million to upgrade the fleet according to a report by Reuters. The company issued this statement:

Austrian Airlines Group has initiated a further step in the restructuring program announced in spring. This step will eliminate redundancies in its organization. These were identified through the conducting during the second half of 2012 of analyses of the operating procedures employed in the flight operations of Tyrolean Airways, in technical processes and in administrative departments. The result is potential savings somewhat greater than €10 million. 150 administrative positions out of the Group’s 6,320 employees will be cut.

Gaudenz Ambühl, managing director of Tyrolean Airways, states: “This is a highly painful move. However, it is one that our restructuring makes inevitable. This makes it possible for us to realize all of the savings in costs enabled by the operational transition. These measures have been widely expected. They will now eliminate the redundancies found in operations.”

The following measures were resolved upon:

  • Flight control operations are currently managed from two centers. These operations will all be handled by the Vienna hub.
  • The headquarters of all flight administration operations will be set up in Innsbruck. This essentially involves the establishment of a Shared Services Center in the city, to which nine departments will be assigned.
  • The planning of personnel, resources and rotation will be concentrated in Innsbruck.
    Redundant operations will also be eliminated at Austrian Airlines. The “Part M” responsibilities forming part of technical maintenance – with these including the engineering, the planning and the management – will be grouped in Tyrolean. Tyrolean is the holder of the official AOC (Air Operator Certificate). The technical maintenance of the fleets will continue to be undertaken at a variety of stations. Innsbruck will handle the maintenance of the Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft; Vienna, of the Fokker, Airbus, and Boeing airplanes, and Bratislava, the overhauling of the Fokker fleet.

Jaan Albrecht, CEO of Austrian Airlines says: “The difficult conditions prevailing on markets do not leave us any choice. We have to increase our organization’s efficiency and to eliminate redundancies in the entire Group. This especially applies to duplications in our organizations, of which we have been aware for a number of years.”

All measures will be implemented in 2013. The grouping of operations at a set of centers will result in a reduction of up to 150 jobs. These will be in Austrian Airlines’ administrative operations. The Austrian Airlines Group has resolved to set up a social plan for the employees affected. Details of it are still being worked out with the works council.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 737-8Z9 OE-LNS (msn 34262) departing London (Heathrow) now carries “Operated by Tyrolean” sub-titles.

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show