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Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines AG
Founded 1957
Hubs Vienna International Airport
Focus cities Innsbruck Airport
Salzburg Airport
Frequent-flyer program Miles & More
Airport lounge Senator Lounge, Business Class Lounge, HON-Circle Lounge
Alliance Star Alliance
Fleet size 77 (includes subsidiaries)
Destinations 117
Company slogan We fly for your smile
Parent company Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Headquarters Vienna Airport
Schwechat, Austria
Jurisdiction : Vienna[1]
Key people Jaan Albrecht (CEO) Karsten Benz (CCO)
Website austrian.com

Austrian Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Austria,[citation needed] headquartered in Office Park 2 on the grounds of Vienna International Airport in Schwechat and a subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.[2][3][4] Since July 1, 2012 all flights are operated by subsidiary Tyrolean Airways under the brand name Austrian. It operates scheduled services to over 130 destinations. Its hub is Vienna International Airport, with a focus city at Innsbruck Airport.[5] It is a member of Star Alliance.



Early years

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

Austrian ordered her first jet plane, Sud Aviation Caravelle, on 18 February 1963. From 1971, Austrian standardised 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. From 1976, Austrian faced strong competition from Inex-Adria Airways, based in Maribor, as many travellers from Carinthia and Styria turned to the cheap Yugoslavian company. 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

The 1990 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 filghts, 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.[5] 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.[5] 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 complementary 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.[6] 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.[7]

Privatization and takeover by Lufthansa

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.[8]

On 13 November 2008, state holding ÖIAG announced that Lufthansa was selected. The German company was to enter Austrians capital with a 41.6% share, for which it would pay 366,268.75.[9] Hefty critics targeted AUA CEO Alfred Ötsch and OIAG chairman Peter Michaelis for they revealed 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 Michaelis was made a scapegoat with his shareholder rights removed,[10] and Ötsch was terminated 16 months before term.[11]

On 1 July 2009, the EU 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.[12] Finally, with approval from the European Commission, Lufthansa purchased Austrian Airlines in September 2009.[13]

Shares in Austrian Airlines AG were suspended on Vienna Stock Exchange on 4 February 2010.[14] The arrival of a new CEO, Jaan Albrecht, in 2011 has 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 AUAs figures were still in the red despite the shedding of 2500 jobs. Lufthansa refused to provide financial support.[15] 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.[16]

Operational transition to Tyrolean

On April 30, 2012, after failure of negotiations over cost cutting measures, AUA operations were taken over by subsidiary Tyrolean Airways.[17][18] However 110 pilots and 250 flight personnel chose not to go to Tyrolean and to instead leave the group.[19]

Group identity

Corporate design

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" (19721995, from 2003 onwards). Austrian Airlines' slogan was "the friendly airline" at the time.

Austrian Airlines' arrow ("Austrian Chevron") saw several design modifications over the years. When invented in 1960 it reminded on the shape of a paper aeroplane; the design became way 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."


Austrian Airlines Group owns shares in 24 companies, including:

  • Ukraine International Airlines
  • Gulet-Touropa-Touristik
  • AVS-Versicherungen
  • TUI Austria
  • Traviaustria
  • AirPlus Kreditkarteninstitut
  • Wiener Börse AG
  • SCA Schedule Coordination Austria
  • ACS AirContainerService GmbH
  • Avicon Aviation Consult GmbH
  • Austrian Lufthansa Cargo GmbH
  • Austrian Airlines Tele Sales & Service GmbH


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

In 2006, Austrian decided to eliminate its A330 and A340 fleet, which consisted of 4 Airbus A330-200 (OE-LAO, OE-LAN, OE-LAM, OE-LAP), 2 Airbus A340-200 (OE-LAH and OE-LAG) and 2 Airbus A340-300 (OE-LAL and OE-LAK). 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.[20]

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.[21]

Austrian was one of the few airlines[22] to fly into post-war Iraq when it began flights to Erbil in December 2006.[23] New flights to Mumbai began on November 2010 and Austrian resumed flights to Baghdad on 8 June 2011. Austrian Airlines resumes flights to Chicago on May 17, 2013.[24] Austrian Airlines also plans to include flights to Los Angeles, Newark and Shanghai by 2013.[25][26] New seasonal service to Palermo will begin on April 26, 2013.[27] On January 13, 2013 Austrian Airlines has suspended flights to Tehran due to a lack of demand. [28] The noted expansion of the intercontinental network seems to indicate improving results for Austrian, with Lufthansa placing its confidence in the airline.

Codeshare agreements

As of April 2013, Austrian Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines (beside Star Alliance members):


Austrian operates several lounges at their hub in Vienna. There are three Business, two Senator and two HON-Circle lounges available.[30] 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- and Boeing 737 family are equipped with new seats and a new cabin design.[31] Until April 2013 Austrian's entire long-haul-fleet (6 Boeing 767 and 4 Boeing 777) will also get 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.[32]

Special security

The armed monitoring of Austrian flights by EKO Cobra began in 1981. During each accompanied flight at least two undercover armed sky marshals are on board.


As of February 2013, the Austrian (Tyrolean Airways) fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 13.9 years:[33] All planes except one single Boeing 777 (which stayed with Austrian Airlines due to international traffic laws) are operated by Tyrolean Airways:

Austrian Airlines Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Airbus A319-100 7
Airbus A320-200 16
One aircraft painted in retro livery, one aircraft painted in Star Alliance livery
Airbus A321-100 3
Airbus A321-200 3
Boeing 767-300ER 4

Boeing 777-200ER 4 2
One Boeing 777 will be added in 2014 and one Boeing 777 planned for2015[35][36]
Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 13
Fokker 70 9
Will be replaced by 2017 [37]
Fokker 100 15
Will be replaced by 2017 [37]
Total 76 2

*Note: Business and Economy on the A319, A320, A321 can vary depending on demand [38]

Fleet history

Over the years, Austrian Airlines operated the following aircraft types:[39]

Austrian Airlines Past Fleet
Aircraft Introduced Retired
Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle 1963 1973
Airbus A310 1988 2004
Airbus A319 2004
Airbus A320 1998
Airbus A321 1995
Airbus A330-200 1998 2007
Airbus A340-200 1995 2007
Airbus A340-300 1997 2007
Boeing 707-329 1969 1971
Boeing 737-600 2008 2012
Boeing 737-700 2008 2012
Boeing 737-800 2008 2013[40][41]
Boeing 767-300ER 2005
Boeing 777-200ER 2005
Fokker 50 1988 1996
Fokker 70 1995
Fokker 100 1995
McDonnell Douglas MD-80
(all variants)
1980 2006
Vickers Viscount 1958 1971
Austrian Airlines fleet images

Incidents and accidents

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.

  • On 26 September 1960 at 21:40 local time, an Austrian Airlines Vickers Viscount (registered OE-LAF) crashed during approach of Sheremetyevo International Airport, killing 26 of the 31 passengers on board, as well as five of the six crew members. The aircraft had been operating Flight 901 from Vienna to Moscow with an intermediate stop at Warsaw. As a probable cause for this to date only fatal accident for the airline, a malfunction in an altimeter was given.[42]
  • On 21 February 1970, an bomb explosion occurred in the cargo hold of an Austrian Airlines Sud Aviation Caravelle (registered OE-LCU) during a flight from Frankfurt to Vienna with 33 passengers and five crew on board, creating a hole in the fuselage. The pilots managed to safely return the aircraft to Frankfurt Airport.[43] On the same day, another bomb had been planted on Swissair Flight 330, causing it to crash, killing 47 people. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed the responsibility for both assaults.[44]
  • On 7 January 1997, Austrian Airlines Flight 104 from Berlin to Vienna was hijacked by a Bosnian male who had forced his way into the cockpit armed with a knife (which was of a size small enough not to be banned from aeroplanes under regulations in force at the time). The pilots obeyed the perpetrator's demands to return to Berlin, so that he could negotiate with the local authorities over the renewal of his visa. Back at Berlin Tegel Airport, the McDonnell Douglas MD-87 was stormed by special police forces, and the hijacker was overpowered.[45]
  • On 5 January 2004 at 08:17 local time, an Austrian Airlines Fokker 70 (registred OE-LFO) crash-landed on a snow-covered field near Munich International Airport. The aircraft had been operating Flight 111 from Vienna to Munich, with 28 passengers and four crew on board, when its engines failed during landing descent due to icing. The aircraft was severely damaged, however only three passengers suffered minor injuries.[46][47][48]


  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 "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. p. 81. 
  6. ^ Austrian Airlines inflight meals Airreview, 18 Jan 2012
  7. ^ "AUA am Boden: 475 Millionen Verlust «". Diepresse.com. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  8. ^ news networld Internetservice GmbH (2008-09-24). "Austrian Airlines-Privatisierung: Letzter Aufruf für Lufthansa, Air-France und S7 ". Format.at. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  9. ^ "ROUNDUP: Austrian Airlines soll an Lufthansa gehen - Abschluss in vier Wochen". Finanznachrichten.de. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  10. ^ "Aktienrecht als Wachs in den Händen von Österreichs Politikern - NZZ.ch, 24.02.2009". Nzz.ch. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  11. ^ "AUA - Mag. Alfred Ötsch tritt als Vorstandsvorsitzender der Austrian Airlines AG zurück". Aktien-portal.at. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  12. ^ "AUA-Übernahme am seidenen Faden «". Diepresse.com. 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  13. ^ "Green Light for Merger of Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa | News". Breaking Travel News. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  14. ^ "BRIEF-Austrian Airlines shares suspended - Vienna bourse". Finanznachrichten.de. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  15. ^ "AUA braucht Sparpaket: Jobabbau und Gehaltsverzicht? «". Diepresse.com. 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  16. ^ "Luftfahrt-Nachrichten und -Community". aero.de. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  17. ^ derStandard.at (2012-04-30). "AUA-Verhandlungen geplatzt - Lufthansa-Gruppe - derStandard.at " Wirtschaft". Derstandard.at. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  18. ^ "Luftfahrt-Nachrichten und -Community". aero.de. 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  19. ^ 03.06.2012, 09:11 (2010-03-31). "Österreich « Nachrichten «". Wirtschaftsblatt.at. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  20. ^ Airliner World, January 2007
  21. ^ "Austrian Airlines Review & Opinions - Overview with pictures (including Lauda Airlines & Austrian Arrows)". Airreview.com. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  22. ^ "Where Iraq Works". Time. 5 April 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  23. ^ Social Post (2006-12-12). "Austrian Airlines starts scheduled flights to Iraq | India - Oneindia News". News.oneindia.in. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  24. ^ "Austrian Airlines Returns to Chicago". Routesonline. 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  25. ^ "Austrian Airlines expanding - Business News - Austrian Times Online News - English Newspaper". Austriantimes.at. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  26. ^ "AUA Invests 80m in Long Distance Flights". FriedlNews. 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  27. ^ http://airlineroute.net/2012/12/21/os-pmo-s13/
  28. ^ http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=299338
  29. ^ by JL (2010-05-25). "Azerbaijan Airlines codeshare with Lufthansa/Austrian | Airline Route Worldwide Airline Route Updates". Airlineroute.net. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  30. ^ "Austrian Lounges at the Star Alliance Terminal". Austrian.com. Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  31. ^ "AUA präsentiert neue Sitze | Austrian Wings". Austrianwings.info. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  32. ^ Austrian Aviation Net (2012-03-29). "Austrian Aviation Net: Thompson Aero Seating erneuert AUA-Flotte". Austrianaviation.net. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  33. ^ "Austrian Airlines Fleet Details and History - Planespotters.net Just Aviation". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  34. ^ http://www.austrian.com/Info/Flightinformation/OurFleet/Airbus%20320.aspx?sc_lang=de&cc=AT
  35. ^ "CEO: Austrian to add two 777s, increase capacity 25%". atwonline.com. Retrieved 2013-02-22. 
  36. ^ http://www.austrianwings.info/2013/04/aua-boeing-767-und-boeing-777-fliegen-bis-mindestens-2019/
  37. ^ a b Hofmann, Kurt (2012-10-26). "Austrian Airlines to replace Fokker fleet". ATWOnline. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  38. ^ "book cheap flights now". Austrian Airlines. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  39. ^ "Austrian Airlines Fleet | Airfleets aviation". Airfleets.net. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  40. ^ http://www.austrianwings.info/2013/04/zur-ausflottung-der-737-bei-der-aua/
  41. ^ "Fleet harmonisation completed on medium-haul fleet". Austrian Airlines. Retrieved 4/2/2013. 
  42. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  43. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle VIR OE-LCU Frankfurt". Aviation-safety.net. 1970-02-21. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  44. ^ "1970 | 0326 | Flight Archive". Flightglobal.com. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  45. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas MD-87 registration unknown Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL)". Aviation-safety.net. 1997-01-07. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  46. ^ "Investigation Report - Fokker 70". BFU Germany. November 2005. Retrieved 18 December 2011. 
  47. ^ "Accident Database: Accident Synopsis 01052004". Airdisaster.com. 2004-01-05. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  48. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Fokker 70 OE-LFO München-Franz Josef Strauss Airport (MUC)". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 

External links

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