Austrian Airlines

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Austrian Airlines AG
Österreichische Luftverkehrs AG
Austrian Airlines Logo.svg
Founded30 September 1957
HubsVienna International Airport
Focus citiesGraz Airport
Innsbruck Airport
Salzburg Airport
Frequent-flyer programMiles & More
Airport lounge
  • Senator Lounge
  • Business Lounge
  • HON Circle
AllianceStar Alliance
Fleet size80
Company sloganWe fly for your smile
Parent companyLufthansa Group
HeadquartersVienna Airport
Schwechat, Austria
Jurisdiction : Vienna[1]
Key peopleJaan Albrecht (CEO), Karsten Benz (CCO), Heinz Lachinger (CFO), Klaus Froese (Managing Director, Tyrolean Airways)
Employees6,236 (April 2014)
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Austrian Airlines AG
Österreichische Luftverkehrs AG
Austrian Airlines Logo.svg
Founded30 September 1957
HubsVienna International Airport
Focus citiesGraz Airport
Innsbruck Airport
Salzburg Airport
Frequent-flyer programMiles & More
Airport lounge
  • Senator Lounge
  • Business Lounge
  • HON Circle
AllianceStar Alliance
Fleet size80
Company sloganWe fly for your smile
Parent companyLufthansa Group
HeadquartersVienna Airport
Schwechat, Austria
Jurisdiction : Vienna[1]
Key peopleJaan Albrecht (CEO), Karsten Benz (CCO), Heinz Lachinger (CFO), Klaus Froese (Managing Director, Tyrolean Airways)
Employees6,236 (April 2014)

Austrian Airlines AG (German: Österreichische Luftverkehrs AG) is the flag carrier of Austria and a subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group.[2][3] The airline is headquartered in the grounds of Vienna International Airport in Schwechat[4] and is a member of the Star Alliance.

Since 1 July 2012 and until 31 March 2015,[5][6][7] all flights of Austrian Airlines are operated by subsidiary Tyrolean Airways under the brand name Austrian. The company operates scheduled services to over 130 destinations and maintains a hub at Vienna International Airport, with a focus city at Innsbruck Airport.[8]


Early years[edit]

On 3 May 1923 Walter Barda-Bardenau received approval by the Austrian government for establishing an airline. He participated in the newly formed Austrian Airlines (German: Österreichische Luftverkehrs AG) with one percent, with the remaining shares went to the Austrian railway transportation institution (50%) and the Junkers-Werke (49%).

The fleet initially consisted of Junkers F 13's. The first flight of the company took place in Vienna on 14 May 1923 by Munich, with pilot Hans Baur. The landing took place in Vienna Jedlesee; there occurred a conversion to float and the connecting flight to Budapest.

The company initially operated as part of the reasoned by Junkers Trans European Union. Among the destinations included Munich, Budapest, Nuremberg, Graz, Klagenfurt and St. Wolfgang. Some targets in Austria were served with seaplanes. The dissolution of the Union in September 1926 led to the discontinuation of some compounds.

From 1927 the company procured with government support new aircraft. The completed in the same year operating partnership agreement with Deutsche Luft Hansa foresaw line connections that were planned and operated jointly by the two companies. In the period that followed a route network starting to Berlin, Budapest and Milan ranged from Vienna created. In 1932 Luft Hansa Junkers of the previously held 49% interest. After the end of the world economic crisis the fleet with several Junkers Ju 52/3 m was added.

1938, the company began planning of routes to Rome, Paris and London. This makes the use of Junkers Ju 90 was provided. After the annexation of Austria by Germany in March 1938, these plans were abandoned. The airline was now fully under the control of Lufthansa and went on 1 January 1939 in this on. In June 1939, the company was deleted from the commercial register.

After the World War II, Austria was again separated from Germany. As a result, Austria was left without a national airline. Austrian Airlines was formed as Österreichische Luftverkehrs AG through the merger of Air Austria and Austrian Airways and began operations on 30 September 1957, making its maiden flight on 31 March 1958 when a Vickers Viscount 779 took off from Vienna to Zurich and London. The domestic services launched on 1 May 1963. The airline's transatlantic services began on 1 April 1969 with a Vienna via Brussels to New York service in co-operation with Sabena.

Jet period[edit]

Sud Caravelle Wien of Austrian Airlines at Vienna Airport in 1972

At first, Austrian Airlines had competition from Adria Airways because of passengers from the Austrian provinces of Styria and Carinthia commuting to Yugoslavia to use airports in what is now Slovenia. Austrian ordered its first jet airliner, the Sud Aviation Caravelle, on 18 February 1963 and the type was operated until 1973. From 1971, Austrian started to standardise her fleet in a short time frame in favour of 9 Douglas DC-9-32, that would serve for many years on short and medium-haul flights. In 1975, the first of 5 DC-9-51 was introduced. In 1977, Austrian become the first Customer for the DC-9-80 (or McDonnell Douglas MD-80) along with Swissair.

The first MD-81 entered service in October 1980, allowing longer-range flights. In 1984, Austrian became the first customer for the MD-87 and played a significant role in the project. The first MD-87 entered service at the end of 1987, as well as MD-83 from 1990, while 6 MD-81 were upgraded to MD-82 standards.

Developments from 1990 to 2008[edit]

The 1990s were under the sign of cooperation and alliances. Austrian was one of the first company to join the Qualiflyer Group, founded by Swissair. It was also a time of quick expansion in long-haul flights, with flights to China and South Africa.

In 2000, Austrian became a member of Star Alliance and acquired Lauda Air. It acquired Rheintalflug on 15 February 2001. Its name was shortened to Austrian in September 2003, when it rebranded its three constituent carriers.[8] On 1 October 2004 the Flight Operations Departments of Austrian and Lauda Air were merged into a single unit, leaving Lauda Air as a brand name only for charter flights. It has 6,394 employees.[8] The other subsidiary, Tyrolean Airways, specialised in regional flights, and was merged with Rheintalflug.

In October 2006, Austrian was forced to adopt a stringent cost-saving policy, and 2007 saw the shedding of over 500 jobs. Many long-haul destinations were cancelled, such as Sydney via Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne via Singapore, Kathmandu or Shanghai. 3 remaining Fokker 70 were sent to Tyrolean Airways. It was also decided to abandon the long-haul Airbus planes, consisting of 4 Airbus A340 and 4 Airbus A330, in order to standardise the fleet in favour of Boeing 777 and Boeing 767. Austrian Airlines removed complimentary in-flight meals and alcoholic drinks on short haul services, introducing what was called a "Self Select Bistro Service", except on flights from London and any flights above 100 minutes in duration.[9] Head office moved from Oberlaa to Vienna Airport in 2007, whereas headquarters remained in Vienna itself.

After a small profit of 3.3 million euros in 2007, financial guidance for 2008 had to be changed negatively several times, to a loss of 475 million euros expected as of end of November.[10]

Privatization and takeover by Lufthansa[edit]

In June 2008, the Merrill Lynch investment bank advised the Austrian Government to sell AUA to a foreign company. Interest was shown by Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, Royal Jordanian, Air China, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, S7 Airlines and Singapore Airlines. Of those, Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and S7 emerged.[11]

On 13 November 2008, state holding ÖIAG announced that Lufthansa was selected. The German company was to enter Austrian’s capital with a 41.6% share, for which it would pay €366,268.75.[12] AUA CEO Alfred Ötsch and OIAG chairman Peter Michaelis were heavily criticised for revealing to Lufthansa that it had to take over the €500 million debt only once the deal had been made binding. Michaelis refused a new tendering procedure, but was made a scapegoat with his shareholder rights removed,[13] and Ötsch resigned on 29 January 2013.[14]

On 1 July 2009, the European Commission initiated investigation on the acquisition for breach of free trade rules, suspecting that the tendering process was a fake one, everything being already decided in favour of Lufthansa.[15] Finally, with approval from the European Commission, Lufthansa purchased Austrian Airlines in September 2009.[16]

Shares in Austrian Airlines AG were suspended on Vienna Stock Exchange on 4 February 2010.[17] After a time of uncertainty following the demission of appointed CEO Thierry Antinori,[18] the arrival of Jaan Albrecht as the new CEO in 2011 signalled the beginning of a new era for the airline, with improving passenger numbers and a more strategic position within the Lufthansa framework. The completion of extension works at the Vienna International Airport will give the airline more room for expansion. As a result, in January 2012, a new strategy was implemented, with the addition of 11 new aircraft in the next three years, leading to a renewal of the fleet on the long term, with Airbus planes serving medium-haul routes and Boeings serving long-haul routes.

In December 2011, a new cost-saving plan was revealed, as AUA’s figures were still in the red despite the shedding of 2500 jobs. Lufthansa refused to provide financial support.[19] In March 2012, Austrian called once more for recapitalisation. Lufthansa approved a capital increase of €140 million, providing effective measure to be taken in order to address the structural deficiencies.[20]

The Lauda Air subsidiary was officially merged into Austrian Airlines on 1 July 2012.[21]

Operational transition to Tyrolean[edit]

On April 30, 2012, after failure of negotiations over cost cutting measures, AUA operations were taken over by subsidiary Tyrolean Airways.[22][23] Since this date all Austrian flights are operated by Tyrolean. However 110 pilots and 250 flight personnel chose not to go to Tyrolean and to instead leave the group.[24]

Austrian Airlines retired its final Boeing 737 (a 737-800 variant in Lauda Air markings) in April 2013 as part of its fleet consolidation exercise. The 11 strong Boeing 737 fleet was replaced by 7 Airbus A320s, with an expected annual saving of €17 million through the move to a single type.[21]

In October 2014 it has been reported that Tyrolean's flight operations and staff will be reintegrated into Austrian Airlines itself by 31 March 2015[5][6] as a new labour agreement has been reached.[5][7]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Ownership and subsidiaries[edit]

Austrian Airlines headquarters in Office Park 2 at Vienna International Airport
Austrian Airlines Training Center at Vienna International Airport

Austrian Airlines Group is wholly owned by Lufthansa.

The Group owns shares in 24 companies, including:

Business trends[edit]

Austrian Airlines has been operating at a loss in recent years. Results were published in full in annual reports until 2008; following the takeover by Lufthansa, the style and content of the results changed, with summary information being made available by way of press releases. Figures are shown below (for years ending 31 December):

Turnover (€m)2,3582,4862,6632,5512,5312,0832,1502,1632,2592,198
Operating profit (adjusted) (€m)−231−65−59−6+25
Profit before interest, tax, depreciation, etc. (EBITDA) (€m)−72170107157201
Profit before interest and tax (EBIT) (€m)88.9−84.6−72.342.1−312.1−293.9
Net profit (€m)43.9−129.1−129.93.3−429.5−325.9
Number of employees7,6628,4688,5828,0317,9147,0665,9346,7776,2366,208
Number of passengers (m)9.410.110.810.810.79.910.911.311.511.3
Passenger load factor (%)72.173.874.175.174.474.076.873.777.578.6
Number of aircraft971061059899787774

Corporate design[edit]

Citing the colors of the national flag of Austria, Austrian Airlines' color scheme has always been a pattern of red, white and red. The aeroplanes' bellies were silver from the 1950s to 80s, the upper part was white with the Austrian Airlines arrow and the text "Austrian Airlines" (until 1972, again from 1995 to 2003) or "Austrian" (1972–1995, from 2003 onwards). Austrian Airlines' slogan was "the friendly airline" at the time.

The Austrian Airlines' arrow ("Austrian Chevron") has seen several design modifications over the years. When invented in 1960 it was redolent of the shape of a paper aeroplane; the design became more formal in 1972. As part of a rebranding exercise in 1995, the "Chevron" was placed on the red-white-red tail fin. In the new corporate design, in use since 2003, the old "Chevron" shape was used again, this time in a more modern style and with a drop shadow placed underneath.

Several special colour schemes have been used throughout the decades. Since joining Star Alliance, a few aeroplanes have flown with Star Alliance markings. For the Mozart year in 2006, an Airbus A320 was decorated in a Mozart design, and an Airbus A340-300 was coated with an hommage to the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra. A Boeing 737-600 was given a glacier look for a Tyrol advertisement. Three designs were put on aeroplanes to mark Euro 2008. An Airbus A320 was given a retro livery on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the company. The current slogan of Austrian is: "We fly for your smile."


A major focus in the Austrian route network is Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Route development[edit]

Austrian airlines destinations

In 2006, Austrian decided to retire its A330 and A340 fleet, which consisted of 4 Airbus A330-200, 2 Airbus A340-200 and 2 Airbus A340-300. These aircraft were sold to TAP Portugal, Swiss and the French Air Force. As a result of having less long haul capacity, Austrian suspended some of its long-haul flights to East Asia. Flights to Shanghai, Phuket, Mauritius, Colombo, Malé and Kathmandu ended in 2007.[21]

Both Australia routes - Melbourne via Singapore and Sydney via Kuala Lumpur - were terminated in March 2007, ending operations on the Kangaroo Route. Austrian was the last European-based airline offering direct flights from Melbourne to Europe, initially using the Lauda brand, and then Austrian airlines aircraft.[28]

Austrian was one of the few airlines[29] to fly into post-war Iraq when it began flights to Erbil in December 2006.[30] New flights to Mumbai began on November 2010 and Austrian resumed flights to Baghdad on 8 June 2011. On January 13, 2013 Austrian Airlines suspended flights to Tehran due to a lack of demand.[31] Austrian Airlines resumed flights to Chicago on May 17, 2013 and launched Newark in 2014.[32] Austrian Airlines start services to Mauritius with the beginning of the winter-flightplan 2015.[33][34] The noted expansion of the intercontinental network seems to indicate improving results for Austrian, with Lufthansa placing its confidence in the airline. Starting in October 2015, Austrian Airlines will begin service to Mauritius.[35]

Codeshare agreements[edit]

As of August 2014, Austrian Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines (beside Star Alliance members):


Austrian Airbus A320-200 with Star Alliance livery

As of September 2014, the combined Austrian Airlines and Tyrolean Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 14.8 years:[38] All aircraft except one single Boeing 777-200ER (OE-LPB - which stayed with Austrian Airlines due to international traffic laws) are registered to Tyrolean Airways:

Austrian Airlines Fleet
AircraftIn ServiceOrdersPassengersNotes
Airbus A319-1007var.138
Airbus A320-20016var.168One aircraft painted in retro livery (OE-LBP)
One aircraft painted in Star Alliance livery (OE-LBX)
Airbus A321-1003var.200
Airbus A321-2003var.200
Boeing 767-300ER636
All equipped with winglets
Boeing 777-200ER548
Bombardier Dash 8 Q4001807676
Fokker 70708080Phasing out
Fokker 100150100100Phasing out

*Note: Business and Economy on the A319, A320, A321 can vary depending on demand [39]

Fleet history[edit]

A former Austrian Boeing 737-800

Over the years, Austrian Airlines operated the following aircraft types:[40]

Austrian Airlines Past Fleet
Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle19631973
Airbus A31019882004
Airbus A3192004
Airbus A3201998
Airbus A3211995
Airbus A330-20019982007
Airbus A340-20019952007
Airbus A340-30019972007
Boeing 707-32919691971
Boeing 737-60020082012
Boeing 737-70020082012
Boeing 737-80020102013[41][42]
Boeing 767-300ER2005
Boeing 777-200ER2005
Canadair Regional Jet CRJ2001996 [43]2010 [44]
Fokker 5019881996
Fokker 701995
Fokker 1002004
McDonnell Douglas MD-80
(all variants)
Vickers Viscount19581971


Business class cabin on one of Austrian's long-haul aircraft.

Austrian operates several lounges at their hub in Vienna. There are three Business, two Senator and two HON-Circle lounges available.[45] Furthermore, a Business lounge at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow is operated by Austrian Airlines. Since 2007 Do & Co handles the catering of Austrian Airlines. On long-haul flights, Business Class meals are prepared by a chef on board.

Since 2011 all Austrian planes of the Airbus A320 family are equipped with new seats and a new cabin design.[46] By September 2013 Austrian's entire long-haul-fleet (Boeing 767 and Boeing 777) also got new seats and a new cabin design. It contains full-flat-beds with a pneumatics-system and aisle access from nearly every seat in Business Class, and new seats with video-on-demand for every passenger in Economy Class.[47]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

The following is a list of incidents and accidents involving Austrian Airlines mainline aircraft. It excludes occurrences with subsidiaries, such as Tyrolean Airways or Austrian Air Services.


  1. ^ "Firmensitz von Austrian Airlines ist korrekt" APA-OTS, Retrieved on 25 September 2009
  2. ^ Contact.” Austrian Airlines Group. Retrieved on 8 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Offices in Austria" Austrian Airlines, Retrieved on 26 May 2009
  4. ^ "Information about the city plan" City of Schwechat, Retrieved on 5 September 2009
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ a b c "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. p. 81. 
  9. ^ Austrian Airlines inflight meals Airreview, 18 Jan 2012
  10. ^ "AUA am Boden: 475 Millionen Verlust «". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  11. ^ news networld Internetservice GmbH (2008-09-24). "Austrian Airlines-Privatisierung: Letzter Aufruf für Lufthansa, Air-France und S7 •". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  12. ^ "ROUNDUP: Austrian Airlines soll an Lufthansa gehen - Abschluss in vier Wochen". 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  13. ^ "Aktienrecht als Wachs in den Händen von Österreichs Politikern -, 24.02.2009". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  14. ^ "Alfred Ötsch resigns as Chief Executive Officer of Austrian". Bloomberg. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  15. ^ "AUA-Übernahme am seidenen Faden «". 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  16. ^ "Green Light for Merger of Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa | News". Breaking Travel News. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  17. ^ "BRIEF-Austrian Airlines shares suspended - Vienna bourse". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  18. ^ Financial Times Deutschland: Ex-Lufthansa-Manager läuft zu Emirates über. [1] Retrieved May 25th 2013
  19. ^ "AUA braucht Sparpaket: Jobabbau und Gehaltsverzicht? «". 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  20. ^ "Luftfahrt-Nachrichten und -Community". 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  21. ^ a b c "Austrian bids farewell to the 737", Airliner World, June 2013: p6 
  22. ^ (2012-04-30). "AUA-Verhandlungen geplatzt - Lufthansa-Gruppe - " Wirtschaft". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  23. ^ "Luftfahrt-Nachrichten und -Community". 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  24. ^ 03.06.2012, 09:11 (2010-03-31). "Österreich « Nachrichten «". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g "Annual Reports". Austrian Airlines. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "Annual results for 2012". Austrian Airlines. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  27. ^{30999B4B-42D0-45A6-B671-FE5E3CB68ED8}
  28. ^ "Austrian Airlines Review & Opinions - Overview with pictures (including Lauda Airlines & Austrian Arrows)". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  29. ^ "Where Iraq Works". Time. 5 April 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  30. ^ Social Post (2006-12-12). "Austrian Airlines starts scheduled flights to Iraq | India - Oneindia News". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  31. ^ Airlines stop Iran flights as sanctions hit economy | JPost | Israel News. JPost. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  32. ^ "Austrian Airlines Returns to Chicago". Routesonline. 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  33. ^ "Austrian Airlines expanding - Business News - Austrian Times Online News - English Newspaper". Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  34. ^ "AUA Invests € 80m in Long Distance Flights". FriedlNews. 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o [2]
  37. ^ by JL (2010-05-25). "Azerbaijan Airlines codeshare with Lufthansa/Austrian | Airline Route – Worldwide Airline Route Updates". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  38. ^ "Austrian Airlines - Fleet". Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  39. ^ "book cheap flights now". Austrian Airlines. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  40. ^ "Austrian Airlines Fleet | Airfleets aviation". 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  41. ^ Zur Ausmusterung der 737 bei der AUA | Austrian Wings. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  42. ^ "Fleet harmonisation completed on medium-haul fleet". Austrian Airlines. Retrieved 4/2/2013.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  43. ^ tyrolean CRJ - Sag zum Abschied Servus | Austrian Wings. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  44. ^ Austrian führt allerletzten CRJ-Passagierflug durch | Austrian Wings. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  45. ^ "Austrian Lounges at the Star Alliance Terminal". Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  46. ^ "AUA präsentiert neue Sitze | Austrian Wings". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  47. ^ Austrian Aviation Net (2012-03-29). "Austrian Aviation Net: Thompson Aero Seating erneuert AUA-Flotte". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  48. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  49. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle VIR OE-LCU Frankfurt". 1970-02-21. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  50. ^ "1970 | 0326 | Flight Archive". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  51. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas MD-87 registration unknown Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL)". 1997-01-07. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  52. ^ "Investigation Report - Fokker 70". BFU Germany. November 2005. Retrieved 18 December 2011. 
  53. ^ "Accident Database: Accident Synopsis 01052004". 2004-01-05. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  54. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Fokker 70 OE-LFO München-Franz Josef Strauss Airport (MUC)". Retrieved 2012-10-07. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Austrian Airlines at Wikimedia Commons