Tag Archives: Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines used drones to inspect its aircraft

Austrian Airlines uses drones to inspect its aircraft:

Since the middle of the year, Austrian Airlines has been testing a completely new technology for the purpose of carrying out technical inspections of its aircraft fleet. The aircraft are checked for paintwork or structural damage by means of autonomous drones developed by the French startup “Donecle”. This innovation not only reduces the workload for technicians of Austria’s national carrier, but the shorter duration of the checks lasting less than two hours instead of the previous time required of four to ten hours enables quicker availability of the aircraft in daily flight operations.


Austrian’s financial results for the first half of 2019: Earnings still in the red before the strong summer months

Named "Wien" (Vienna)

Austrian Airlines has reported its financial results for the first half of 2019:

Finance Results

• Q2 profit of EUR 46 million insufficient to offset Q1 loss of EUR 99 million
• Adjusted EBIT down to minus EUR 53 million in the first half-year
• 2019 remains a challenging year: glut of budget airlines and expensive jet fuel burden earnings
Austrian Airlines reported adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) of EUR 46 million in the second quarter of 2019. However, this performance was not enough to compensate for the loss of EUR 99 million generated in the previous quarter. For this reason, Austria’s flag carrier announced an adjusted EBIT of minus EUR 53 million in the first half of 2019. Investments in the fleet and service had a positive impact, as reflected in the significant rise in passenger volume of six percent to 6.7 million.

“The sharp decline in earnings can be mainly attributed to two factors: the glut of budget airlines in Vienna and higher jet fuel costs”, states Austrian Airlines CFO Wolfgang Jani.

Revenue in the first half of 2019 fell by three percent to EUR 982 million (H1 2018: EUR 1,008 million). Total operating expenditures in the same period were up two percent to EUR 1,073 million (H1 2018: EUR 1,048 million). The main reason for the higher costs were the additional expenses for jet fuel and routine maintenance. Jet fuel costs rose by 17 percent or EUR 34 million whereas technical expenditures were up 47 percent or EUR 27 million. Adjusted EBIT, which deducts book gains from sales of aircraft, amongst other items, totaled minus EUR 53 million (H1 2018: EUR 5 million). EBIT in the first six months of 2019 equaled minus EUR 54 million.

Considering the second quarter by itself, adjusted EBIT totaled EUR 46 million, down 41 percent or EUR 32 million from the previous year (Q2 2018: EUR 78 million). Accordingly, the large first-quarter loss could not be offset.

More flights, more passengers, high capacity utilization

Austrian Airlines significantly expanded its traffic volume. In the first six months of 2019, the airline transported 6.7 million passengers, comprising a year-on-year increase of six percent or about 375,000 more passengers than in the first half of 2018. The intercontinental business developed exceptionally well, with passenger volume up 13.2 percent during the first half-year. The overall flight offering in available seat kilometers (ASK) increased by five percent to 13.6 billion. Capacity utilization (passenger load factor) further improved by 2.3 percentage points to 78.1 percent.

The regularity of operation rose to a gratifying 99.0 percent in the first half of 2019 (H1 2018: 98.1 percent). However, punctuality on departure fell to 76.9 percent. This can be primarily attributed to air traffic control problems at Vienna Airport, which have quadrupled compared to the first half-year 2018. The punctuality rate on arrival equaled 79.9 percent.

Fleet renewal takes shape: six additional jets, turboprop phase-out

Austrian Airlines has carried out 66,419 flights deploying a total of 82 aircraft, or an average of about 364 flights per day, since the beginning of the year. The two aircraft leased from Adria Airways as part of a wet lease agreement are not included. The renewal of the fleet announced in January 2019 is beginning to take shape. In July 2019 Austrian Airlines signed lease agreements for six additional A320 aircraft. The first of these jets will be transferred in August 2019. On balance, ten additional Airbus jets will replace the airline’s 18 Dash 8-400 turboprop airplanes by 2021. Accordingly, Austrian Airlines is expanding its Airbus fleet from 36 to 46 aircraft.

“The expansion of our Airbus fleet will help us in competing with budget airlines. This is because these jets enhance customer comfort. The change in the fleet structure will also positively impact our unit costs because we can offer more seats in fewer aircraft”, says Austrian Airlines CFO Wolfgang Jani.

The total staff of Austrian Airlines amounted to 6,999 employees at the balance sheet date of June 30, 2019 (June 30, 2018: 7,118 employees). The reduction of 119 employees (minus two percent) is related to productivity gains in connection with the last reform of the collective wage agreement and the fact that fewer pilots are undergoing retraining.

Outlook for the entire year 2019: positive earnings but significantly below the prior year

Austrian Airlines expects an economically challenging year as a consequence of low-cost competition at Vienna Airport and high jet fuel prices. “We continue to anticipate a difficult year in 2019. We will generate positive results, but substantially below the previous year”, Austrian Airlines CFO Wolfgang Jani adds. In 2018 Austrian Airlines had an adjusted EBIT of EUR 83 million.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Austrian Airlines Airbus A321-211 OE-LBF (msn 1458) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 946842.
Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show:

Austrian Airlines to add six Airbus A320s, will phase out its DHC-8-402s

Austrian Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) OE-LGH (msn 4075) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 947071.

Austrian Airlines has made this announcement:

The fleet development announced in January 2019 is taking shape now: Austrian Airlines has now secured six additional A320 aircraft. The first of these jets is scheduled for delivery in August. Within the next few days, it will already receive the red-white-red Austrian color scheme in Jacksonville, FL.


A total of ten additional jets are to replace the 18 DHC-8-400 turboprop aircraft by 2021.

Austrian will thus increase its Airbus fleet from 36 to 46 aircraft.

As of June 30, 2019, the entire Austrian Airlines fleet consisted of 82 aircraft.

Four A320 aircraft from Avianca Brasil, two from Juneyao

Four of the six additional A320 jets are leased from Aviation Capital and previously flew at Avianca Brasil. In part, these aircraft are already being subject to the necessary delivery check.

The first A320 plane is expected to be transferred to Austrian Airlines in the middle of August. Additional planes will be supplied at the end of August as well as in September and October. Following the necessary modifications and adaptations, the first aircraft should be put into operation on Austrian Airline’s behalf in December of this year. Austrian Airlines will take possession of two other Airbus jets purchased from CDB Aviation, which are currently operated by Star Alliance Connecting Partner Juneyao.

In 2019 Austrian Airlines has already decommissioned two DHC-8-400 aircraft. The hand over of a further DHC-8-400 turboprop is planned this year. Nine other Dash turboprops are scheduled to be phased out from the Austrian Airlines fleet in the course of 2020, the remaining six will follow in 2021.

Details on the six A320:

Registration   Year                     Type          Engine             Delivery (planned)   Prior/current Operator
OE-LZA         September 2007    A320-214   CFM56-5B4/P    January 2020          Juneyao
OE-LZB         October 2007        A320-214   CFM56-5B4/P    January 2020          Juneyao
OE-LZC         September 2012    A320-214   CFM56-5B4/3    August 2019           Avianca Brasil
OE-LZD         October 2012        A320-214   CFM56-5B4/3    August 2019           Avianca Brasil
OE-LZE         September 2013    A320-214   CFM56-5B4/3    September 2019      Avianca Brasil
OE-LZF         November 2013     A320-214   CFM56-5B4/3    October 2019          Avianca Brasil

Top Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) OE-LGH (msn 4075) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 947071.

Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show:

European Elections 2019: Austrian Airlines declares its commitment to Europe: “Austrian Airlines is also European”

Austrian Airlines has made this announcement in support of the European Elections:

• Austrian Airlines has displayed the EU flag on all aircraft since 1997
• The Austrian flag carrier employs about 7,000 people from 58 nations
• The network links Austria to 100 European destinations

Shortly before the European elections 2019, Austrian Airlines has declared its clear commitment to Europe. Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech puts it this way: “We are Austria’s flag carrier. At the same time, we have been displaying the EU flag on all our aircraft since the year 1997 out of conviction. Austrian Airlines is also European.”

In this way, Austrian Airlines joins many other European companies in actively promoting high voter turnout at the European elections. The elections for the European Parliament will take place in Austria this coming Sunday, May 26, 2019. “Austrian Airlines has profited enormously from Europe’s political as well as economic integration. Europe is a project of peace and prosperity. The success of this project is important for the future of all of us. Every vote cast in these elections is thus a vote cast to support this project”, von Hoensbroech adds.

Austrian Airlines employs a total of 7,083 people from 40 European and 18 non-European countries, and links 101 cities within Europe with each other. Austrian Airlines temporarily had the EU flag painted on the nose of an Airbus A320 with the aircraft registration OE-LBL in order to visibly display its commitment to Europe and the European Union.

Photo: 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.


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: