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Austrian Airlines has a record year, traffic up 12.8%, will hire 600 new employees

Austrian's 2017 "My Sound of Austria" special livery

Austrian Airlines carried approimately. 12.9 million passengers in the period January to December 2017.

This comprises a year-on-year increase of 12.8 percent or 1.5 million passengers. This rise can be primarily attributed to the airline’s expanded flight offering in Europe. The flight offering measured in available seat kilometers (ASK) was up 6.6 percent to more than 26 billion.

Revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) climbed 7.6 percent from the prior-year level to surpass the level of 20 billion. Capacity utilization of the flights (passenger load factor) equaled 76.8 percent on average in 2017, an increase of 0.7 percentage points compared to 2016. On balance, Austria’s national carrier operated 143,999 flights in 2017, corresponding to an average of about 395 flights per day.

“2017 was a record year for us. We achieved an all-time high with our passenger volume, which is unprecedented in the history of Austrian Airlines”, explains Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto. “We will even further improve upon this passenger record in 2018 thanks to the additional Boeing 777 and the two new long-haul destinations Tokyo and Cape Town”, he adds.

In the month of December 2017 Austrian Airlines carried more than 900,000 passengers. This comprises a rise of 11.7 percent from the previous year. The flight offering measured in available seat kilometers climbed 3.0 percent to more than 1.8 billion. Revenue passenger kilometers were up 5.8 percent to more than 1.3 billion. Capacity utilization (passenger load factor) equaled an average of 73.7 percent, representing an increase of 2.0 percentage points from December 2016.

Austrian Airlines can look back at a successful year in 2017. Close to 12.9 million passengers flew with Austria’s red-white-red national carrier last year, comprising a rise of 12.8 percent compared to 2016. The airline plans another small expansion step in the current year, namely the integration of another long-haul aircraft, a Boeing 777-200 jet, in its fleet. The additional capacity will enable Austrian Airlines to expand its intercontinental route network. Starting May 15, 2018, the airline will resume flight service to Tokyo in Japan, and also plans to begin operating flights to Cape Town in South Africa as of October 27, 2018.

“It is planned to hire 150 employees just to operate this one new aircraft”, explains Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky. Austrian Airlines needs to expand its current staff by a total of 600 people this year due to the expansion of the medium-haul fleet in the past year as well as the planned transfer of pilots to the Lufthansa Group. “Austrian Airlines will continue to grow at the Vienna flight hub in spite of the current turbulences on our domestic market. We are currently looking for about 200 pilots, 300 flight attendants and 100 employees in the fields of aircraft maintenance and ground handling”, CEO Kratky states.

The Boeing 777 will offer room for 306 seats, 24 of which are in the new Premium Economy Class. The new seats feature a greater reclining angle, more generous seat spacing and a broader seat service. This is complemented by a larger monitor for the on-demand entertainment compared to Economy Class as well as upgraded catering.

460 new employees already added at the Vienna Airport flight hub in 2017
Austrian Airlines employed 6,914 people as at December 31, 2017, a rise of 7.2 percent or 464 employees compared to the previous year. The fleet of consisted of 83 aircraft at the end of 2017, including 72 short-haul and medium-haul jets (Bombardier Dash 8-400, Embraer 195, Airbus 320F) and eleven long-haul aircraft (Boeing 767 and 777). The integration of the twelfth long-haul aircraft in the Austrian Airlines fleet is scheduled for May 2018.
Copyright Photo: Austrian.com – my Austrian (Austrian Airlines) Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPD (msn 35960) (My Sound of Austria) VIE (Tony Storck). Image: 939151.
Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show:

Austrian Airlines to resume Miami service

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) will resume winter seasonal service on the Vienna-Miami route starting again on October 16. The restored route will operate five days a week with Boeing 777-200 ERs.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2B8 ER OE-LPD (msn 35960) taxies to the gate at JFK International Airport.

Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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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