Is formed at Vienna in 1964 as a charter subsidiary of Austrian Airlines (Osterreichische Luftverkehrs, A. G.). The carrier is initially owned by a number of local government and private interests with the flag carrier holding 40% interest. Dr. Franz Kotrba is named managing director. Employing a Vickers Viscount leased from the parent, AAT undertakes charter and inclusive-tour flights to destinations in Europe, Africa, the Mideast, and various Mediterranean resorts.
In 1965, revenues advance by 40% and enplanements jump 50% to 20,000. Largely unheralded, services continue through the remainder of the decade and into the 1970s. The carrier is reorganized in September 1973 and Austrian Airlines, A. G. is granted full control with 80% shareholding. Passenger bookings climb from 356,700 in 1981 to 500,200 in 1983.
Scheduled services linking Vienna with Graz, Linz, Klegenfurt are undertaken in 1986-1987, employing a fleet of 3 Fairchild Metro IIs and 1 Cessna 310. This competition with Austrian Air Service is withdrawn in 1988.
Operations continue apace in 1989-1992. In 1993, joint managing directors Angelika Stix and E. Hotarek oversee a workforce of 13. Aircraft continue to be leased from the parent and flown as required on non-scheduled, inclusive-tour services from Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, Graz, and Klagenfurt to holiday destinations in Africa, Europe, and the Mideast. During the year, 2 A310-324s, 12 MD-81s, 1 MD-82, 5 MD-87s, and 4 Fokker 50s are chartered at various times.
With 11 employees in 1994, the number of leases is increased. Eight Fokker 50s, 6 MD-82s, 5 MD-87s, 7 MD-81s, and 2 MD-83s fly on behalf of the charter arm during the year.
Flights continue until 1998, at which point the airline is folded back into its parent and its “OG” code is assigned to the new GO low-cost subsidiary of British Airways, Ltd. (2).
AUSTRIAN AIRLINES (OSTERREICHISCHE LUFTVERKEHRS, A. G.): 1107 Vienna, Fontanestrasse 1, Vienna, A-1107, Austria; Phone 43 (1) 17660; Fax 43 (1) 686 526; Http://www. aua. com; Code OS; Year Founded 1957. Before either actually launch operations, Air Austria, formed by the Austrian People’s Party, with assistance from KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines, N. V.) and Fred Olsen’s Flyselskap, A. S., and Austrian Airways, created by the Austrian Socialist Party with help from SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System), agree to a merger on September 30, 1957. Osterreichische Luftverkehrs, A. G. (Austrian Airlines), the name taken, is that of the prewar carrier founded in 1918 and merged into Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. (DLH) in January 1939.
Shareholding in the new joint enterprise is divided three ways: Austrian private interests 42%; elements of the public sector 28%; and the remaining 33% is divided between SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) and Fred Olsen’s Flyselskap, A. S. Four Vickers Viscount 779s are leased from the latter because, under terms of the government’s peace treaty with the Allies, Austria’s airlines in the future will be prohibited from purchasing German or Japanese aircraft.
Austrian-manned Viscount 779 (the peace treaty also specifies that no foreign pilots may fly Austrian aircraft) revenue services begin on March 31, 1958 over a Vienna-London route; additional international routes are planned and developed throughout the year.
Viscount 779 flights are launched Vienna-Manchester via Frankfurt am Main on April 5, 1959. A chartered DC-3, with three crew and two passengers, flies into Alfabia Peak, Mallorca, on May 2; there are no survivors. A Vienna-Moscow Viscount 779 service is initiated on June 5.
Four Viscount 837s replace the 779s in February 1960. One of the new Vickers Viscount 837s, with 6 crew and 31 passengers and on approach from a Vienna service, crashes 11 km W. of Sheremetyevo Airport, Moscow, on September 26 (31 dead).
Planning for domestic frequencies is undertaken in 1961. A pooling agreement is signed with Cunard-Eagle Airways, Ltd. in August for service Innsbruck-London (LGW). The Viscount 745 Johannes Brahms joins the fleet.
In 1962, Douglas DC-3s are acquired and orders are placed for 5 Sud SE-210 Caravelle VIRs. DC-3 domestic operations commence on January 5, 1963. The carrier’s first Caravelle VIR is delivered on February 20 and is placed in service on the international routes.
The workforce totals 1,282 in 1964. Three additional Caravelle VI-Rs join the fleet. A 40% shareholding is taken in the newly formed charter subsidiary Austrian Air Transport (AAT). The carrier leases aircraft to AAT beginning with a single Vickers Viscount that inaugurates revenue flights during the summer. Systemwide, enplanements total 289,569 and revenues are $12.2 million.
In 1965, new service is inaugurated to Munich from Vienna and Kla-genfurt/Salzburg and from Salzburg to Amsterdam. The fleet now includes 11 aircraft: 4 Caravelle VIRs, 4 Viscount 837s, and 3 DC-3s. Passenger boardings increase 26% to 391,309.
Airline employment is 1,590 in 1966. Two Hawker Siddeley HS 748s replace the DC-3s. Enplanements swell to 451,963. Another Caravelle VIR is added in 1967 and a number of frequencies are increased. The company now flies 5 SE-210s, 2 HS 748s, 4 Viscounts, and 1 Aero Commander. The SE-210s replace Viscounts on some routes, bringing to 76% the number of seat-miles offered by jetliner. Bookings accelerate 12% to 513,594.
The employee population is 1,788 in 1968. Preparations are made for the inauguration of transatlantic service and a Boeing 707-329 Strato-liner is leased from Sabena Belgian World Airlines, S. A. late in the year. Bookings dip to 469,593.
In early 1969, the government, in an effort to improve the airline’s fortunes, appoints, according to tradition, new joint managing directors, one from each political party: Dr. Anton Heschgi, Socialist, and Dr. Hubert Papousek, Conservative. The two, working in harmony, reduce the workforce by 15% to 1,426. The fleet now comprises 5 Caravelle VIRs, 3 Viscount 837s, and 1 HS 748s.
One HS 748 is withdrawn from the European network as the company is further reorganized and all unprofitable and domestic services are dropped. Vienna to New York via Brussels Stratoliner service is launched on April 1 as part of a fifty-fifty pool agreement with Sabena Belgian World Airlines, S. A.
Enplanements for the year rise to 516,525. Revenues total $20.4 million.
Airline employment climbs 5.5% to 1,504 in 1970. En route from Frankfurt to Vienna on February 21, a Caravelle suffers a blast of unknown origin in its freight compartment; the plane is able to safely return to Frankfurt.
Nine Douglas DC-9-32s are ordered as the last HS 748 is sold and disposal of the Viscounts begins. Boardings dip 1% to 511,000, but freight is down by 10%.
A total of 28 new employees are hired in 1971. The pooled transatlantic service is terminated on March 31 and the chartered B-707-329 is returned to Sabena Belgian World Airlines, S. A. In turn, an extensive technical and operational arrangement is made with Swissair, A. G. The first DC-9-32 is delivered on June 19 and the last Viscount 837 is sold on September 24. A total of 594,000 passengers are carried on the year.
As the last of the DC-9-32s arrive and enter service in 1972, retirement of the Caravelle VIRs begins and will make Austrian an all-Douglas operator. Routes are extended to additional points in Eastern Europe. On March 29, an agreement on technical and operational cooperation is signed with Swissair, A. G.
Construction is started on a new Vienna Airport maintenance facility. On November 16, the stock capital is raised to 1 billion Austrian shillings. Cargo traffic skyrockets 50% and passenger bookings jump 25% to 791,774. The company’s first net profit, 8.6 Austrian shillings, is posted.
The last Caravelle VIR is sold on January 16, 1973, and an order for 5 DC-9-51s is placed on July 25. Shareholding in Austrian Air Transport (AAT) is increased to 80%. During the year, the company enters the transatlantic charter market, operating a DC-8-63CF under charter from Overseas National Airlines.
Passenger boardings rise 18% to 830,698 and freight is up 34%.
Airline employment stands at an even 2,000 in 1974. A new maintenance base is opened at the Vienna Airport on June 25. Passenger traffic rises a slight 1.2% to 840,785, but freight grows 8.1%.
On April 28,1975, the new computerized reservations system OSCAR is introduced. A route is opened to Brussels and permission for new routes is received during the summer for inauguration the following year. The first of the five DC-9-51s is delivered on September 14; with a second received days later, it enters service in October, becoming only the second in the world to be employed in regular airline operations. Employment dips to 1,950. Passenger boardings climb 9% to 912,640, and a $13.9-million net profit is posted.
Fifty employees are hired in 1976. New DC-9-51 services are inaugurated with two new aircraft on January 4 from Vienna to Cairo, Dus-seldorf, Stockholm, Helsinki, and London via Salzburg. On May 24, the carrier pays its first dividend to shareholders. A third DC-9-51 is added. Passenger bookings exceed the 1-million mark for the first time, rising 16% to 1,060,834; cargo soars 26%. A sixth consecutive profitable year is announced.
A fourth DC-9-51 is delivered in 1977. On October 13, 8 DC-9-81s are ordered.
A chartered BAC 1-11-420EL with 5 crew and 74 passengers crashes 34 km. from the runway while on initial approach to San Carlos de Bar-iloche on November 21 (46 dead)
Enplanements for the year total 1,127,490.
A Vienna-Madrid route is started on April 1, 1978. A total of 29 cities in 25 countries in Europe and the Middle East are now served from gateways at Vienna, Graz, Linz, Klagenfurt, and Salzburg. Chairman Otto Binder’s carrier now employs 2,057 workers and possesses a fleet comprising 5 DC-9-51s and 9 DC-9-32s.
On November 13, the Austrian chancellor inaugurates the new head office at Vienna. A 50% stake is taken, during December, in the WA-Vienna Airport Restaurant-und Hotelbetriebsges, mbH. Passenger boardings climb 9% to 1,239,000, and freight is up 11%.
New service is started from Vienna to Larnaca and Jeddah on November 13, 1979. With the beginning of the winter season in late October, a DC-9-32 is chartered to Air Malta, Ltd.
Late in the year, plans are made to resume domestic services after a seven-year suspension. Bookings rise 5% to 1,301,596, and cargo accelerates 14%.
The workforce is increased by 7% in 1980 to 2,500. On February 4, the carrier invests 26% of the capital required to form Austrian Air Services with additional shares in the new domestic airline being taken by regional governments and local interests. Air Malta, Ltd. returns the DC-9-32 at the end of the third quarter.
Service between five Austrian cities begins with two Fairchild Metro IIs on April 1. On the same day, Tyrolean Airways, A. G. is established at Innsbruck.
The first DC-9-81 is delivered to Austrian Airlines; christened Wien, it commences Vienna-Zurich service on October 26. Transavia Holland, N. V. now begins a contract to fly one of its B-737-2K2Cs on behalf of the Austrian flagline. Orderly retirement of the DC-9-32s begins, with the first sold to Texas International Airlines on December 7; orders are placed for Airbus Industrie A310-221s. Passenger boardings decline $2 to $1.2 million and cargo falls 1%.
The employee population is increased by 2.7% in 1981 to 2,719. On March 1, Vienna-Tripoli service begins; four days later, the carrier acquires 50% of the nation’s leading tour operator, Touropa. Malta and Nice are included in the route network as of March 29. On March 31, the first DC-9-51 lands at Dhahran. The first DC-9-81 charter flight is made Vienna-Aswan-Mombasa on October 10. During the year, another DC-9-32 is delivered to Texas International Airlines and 4 DC-9-81s are integrated into the fleet.
Passenger boardings accelerate 5.7% to 1,358,130, and cargo is up 12% to 14.93 million FTKs. A net $5.1-million profit is earned on total revenues of $297.2 million.
The employee population stands at 2,700 in 1982. The first automatic landing of an Austrian Airlines DC-9-81 is made on February 5, during a Yuma, Arizona, test flight. New routes are begun to Doha, Tunis, and Baghdad via Larnaca. Orders are placed for 2 Airbus Industrie A310s and the veteran marketing director, Fritz Feitl, is named managing director of Tyrolean Airways, A. G.
Passenger traffic dips 3% to 1,320,215, but freight rises 9% to 14.67 million FTKs. A twelfth consecutive net profit is reported, 76.5 million Austrian shillings.
Eighty new employees are hired in 1983 as a Klagenfurt and Vienna to London frequency is inaugurated. The last 3 of 5 DC-9-32s are sold to Muse Airlines.
Boardings rise 6% to 1,865,207 and cargo climbs twice that percentage, up 12% to 16.6 million FTKs. The annual net profit of $4.4 million is the 13th consecutive net gain.
Routes are opened to Tehran and Kuwait in 1984 as the workforce grows 6.6% to 2,838. On December 19, Austrian Airlines becomes one of two launch customers for the MD-87, ordering four.
Cargo grows 19.3% and passenger boardings rise 6.3% to 1,982,000. On revenues of $227 million, a $3.9-million net profit is reported.
Airline employment is boosted 2.2% to 2,900 in 1985. A DC-9-32, en route from Rome to Vienna with 65 aboard on June 24, returns to Rome after the airline’s office receives a bomb threat. Two Fokker 50s are ordered for Austrian Air Services, GmbH. in September and joint Managing Director Hubert Papousek is also chairman of the Association of European Airlines.
Passenger bookings climb 5% to 1,538,000 while freight is flat. Revenues total $227.83 million and expenses are $226.8 million; profits are $1 million (operating) and $4.5 million (net).
The payroll is boosted a scant 1.6% in 1986 to 3,063. In cooperation with Air France, flights begin to Lyon. In June, the A310-221 order is changed to two of the long-range Dash-322 models.
In July the carrier initiates twice-weekly return service to Riyadh, Zagreb, Venice, and Barcelona. In December, weekly MD-87 service is initiated from Vienna’s Schwechat Airport to Tehran.
Enplanements dip 1% to 1,983,000 while cargo is off by 3.2% to 3.43 million FTKs. During the 16th consecutive profitable year, Austrian earns revenues of $294.84 million, up 29.4% and has costs of $101.55 million, up 38.3%. The operating gain rises to $8.1 million and net profit is $8.38 million.
Airline employment grows 6% in 1987 to 3,155 as joint Managing Directors Papousek and Heschigi report in March that the company’s most important route is that between Vienna and Frankfurt. The first 2 of 4 ordered McDonnell Douglas MD-87s join the fleet of their European launch customer later in the year.
Passenger boardings ascend 12.3% to 2,228,890 while freight is level with the previous year. Revenues advance 8% to $455.9 million and costs are held low enough to allow an operating profit of $12.8 million. The net gain dips to $7.1 million.
The workforce is increased 12.9% in 1988 to 3,552 and the fleet is increased with the addition of 2 MD-87s, 1 A310-324, and 2 Fokker 50s. The latter are introduced on regional and domestic routes. On January 28, Austrian Airlines, its Austrian Air Services, GmbH. subsidiary, and Tyrolean Airways, A. G. sign an accord rationalizing domestic services by avoiding parallel routing. During the first two quarters, the company introduces business-class service on all European and Mideast flights and begins service to Monastir, Izmir, and Dhahran.
In May, the government sells 25% of its interest to private investors in the first of three annual privatization sales. The carrier is privatized to the extent of 25% in June, with Swissair, A. G. purchasing 3% shareholding.
Customer bookings rise 2.3% to 2,280,444, but cargo dips 0.7% to 19.86 million FTKs. Revenues climb 10% to $541.7 million, but expenses also rise, forcing the operating profit down to $4 million. Net gain, however, zooms up to $9.8 million and is the 18th consecutive such profit.
The number of employees is increased by 9.3% in 1989 to 3,893 as privatization continues. The longest serving and most durable duo in Europe, joint Managing Directors Papousek and Heschgi celebrate 20 years in control of Austria’s air transport industry. The A310-324 received late the previous year enters regional service in February and in March opens five-times-per-week roundtrip frequencies from Vienna to New York. Additionally, daily flights begin from Linz to Salzburg and Zurich and from Vienna to Stuttgart.
On March 25, Vienna-East Europe frequencies are increased to 54 per week, making the company second only to Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. in western service to Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, to assist in fleet expansion payments, the share capital is increased in April by a $65-million stock offering (400,000 shares) via the Austrian stock market; 3.5% total shareholding (77,000 shares) is acquired via this avenue by All Nippon Airways Company, Ltd. (ANA). Swissair, A. G. increases its holding from 8% to 10% while Air France acquires a 1.5% shareholding. The new shares issue reduces Austrian government holdings to 61.4%. In May, the company initiates a marketing agreement with Air France that calls for code-sharing on flights from Vienna to Paris and Nice. A sixth weekly Vienna to New York roundtrip is added in June while twice-weekly roundtrips commence between Vienna and Lisbon.
In cooperation with Aeroflot Soviet Airlines and All Nippon Airways Company, Ltd. (ANA), joint twice-weekly service, employing the Austrian’s second new A310-324, are inaugurated on July 16 from Vienna to Tokyo via Moscow and over Siberia; the frequencies are the first by a twin-engine commercial jetliner over the trans-Siberian route. Expenses and revenues are split 40-40-20 between Austrian, ANA, and Aeroflot; the frequencies, which employ Austrian cockpit crews, mixed cabin crews, and a Soviet navigator, were to have begun on April 16, but are delayed for several weeks.
Twice weekly scheduled service is resumed in August between Vienna and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Salzburg joins the network for the winter ski season as a stop on the New York to Vienna service and, beginning in November, the company begins a frequent flyer program for U. S. travelers called MileageCheques.
Passenger boardings for the year surge 15.8% to 2,069,617 and freight skyrockets 87.1% to 36.37 million FTKs. Revenues advance 11.4% to $611.5 million, allowing a profit of $28 million.
Company employment is increased by 8.4% in 1990 to 4,221 and the joint service to Tokyo via Moscow becomes, with the addition of a third A310-324, thrice weekly in March. By April, state shareholding has been reduced to 51.9% as the carrier continues to be privatized. As part of that process, All Nippon Airways Company, Ltd. (ANA) increases its shareholding to a full 5%. As the result of a significant demand for flights into Eastern Europe by Japanese businessmen and tourists, the Japanese air transport company links its Vienna service into Austrian’s extensive eastern route network.
At a price equivalent to $358 per share, the airline issues 400,000 new shares of stock in May. The offering reduces the governments holding to 51.9% and increases the shareholding of Swissair, A. G. to 10% and of All Nippon Airways Company, Ltd. (ANA) to 9% (with the $65-million purchase of another 157,000 shares, the total Japanese stake is 234,000 shares).
Also during the second quarter, code-sharing is introduced with Aeroflot Soviet Airlines on the route from Vienna to St. Petersburg and with CSA (Czechoslovak Airlines) on the run from Vienna to Prague. A block-space agreement is signed with Finnair, O/Y covering service over the Vienna to Helsinki route, which will be provided with Finnish aircraft. Later, joint code-sharing on aircraft from both companies will be offered from Vienna to Helsinki via Stockholm. A line pilot since 1960, Capt. Erich Mara succeeds Dr. Hubert Papousek on July 1, becoming president and joint managing director, with Georg Urbanski and Dr. Herbert Bammer as deputy presidents.
The company now joins the European Quality Alliance, partners in which also include Swissair, A. G. and SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System). In addition to catering and maintenance agreements, Austrian and Swissair, A. G. agree to launch code-shared flights from Vienna to Zurich and Geneva, from Linz to Zurich, and from Salzburg to Zurich. Later, the two companies will code-share on the Swiss routes from Zurich to Amman, Riga, and Vilnius and link their frequent flyer programs. Additionally, Austrian elects to join with SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) in offering code-sharing on routes from Vienna to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Hamburg, and Goteborg.
A fourth weekly frequency is introduced to Tokyo during November. At the same time, a 49% share is taken in the Vienna-based regional Rheintalflug-Rolf Seewald, GmbH. At the year’s end, two new holiday packages are introduced: “Vienna for a Song” and “Austrian Holidays Ski Escapades.” Customer bookings ascend 6.5% to 2,760,000. Revenues grow to $801 million and the operating loss is $21 million. A net $11.3-million profit is earned, the 20th such gain in a row.
The payroll climbs 3.1% in 1991 to 4,259 and the fleet now includes 3 A310-324s, 7 MD-81s, 1 MD-82, 1 MD-83, and 5 MD-87s. Orders are outstanding for 1 A310-324, 7 A320-214s, 6 A321-111s, 2 A340-300s, and 1 MD-83.
In April, Rheintalflug-Rolf Seewald, GmbH. opens de Havilland Canada DHC-8-100 replacement service on behalf of the flag carrier over a route from Graz to Zurich. The following month, joint passenger services are inaugurated with Olympic Airways, S. A. over a route from Vienna to Athens.
Following the outbreak of fighting in Yugoslavia’s secession crisis, the company, on June 29, suspends services into Zagreb, capital of Croatia.
On July 5, A310-324 biweekly roundtrips from Vienna are undertaken to Johannesburg, South Africa.
The inaugural Airbus delivers the Imperial Ball Orchestra and the Mozart Spectaculum for special performances.
In cooperation with Swissair, A. G., twice-weekly flights are inaugurated, also in July, from Zurich to Leningrad and Kiev via Vienna. To meet the demand for capacity caused by the Yugoslav situation, the airline switches from Fokker 50s to MD-81s on many of its Balkan services.
In August, twice-weekly MD-81 service is resumed from Vienna to Dhahran and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Six-times-per-week Vienna to Istanbul frequencies become daily and, jointly with Swissair, A. G., thrice-weekly flights begin from Vienna to Kiev and Leningrad. In October, the company begins two additional MD-80 services with Swissair from Zurich to Kiev and Vienna. During the year’s second half, new services are also inaugurated to Leningrad, Nairobi, and Johannesburg.
Passenger boardings slide 3.9% during the year to 2,652,902, but freight swells 16.9% to 59.93 million FTKs. Revenues rise 8.3% to $847.4 million, but costs are more and force an operating loss of $34.01 million. There is a net loss of $11.15 million, thus breaking the consecutive run of profits.
The workforce grows 4.3% in 1992 to 4,441 as 5 MD-82s enter service. In March, African frequencies are increased and Vienna-Vilnius service is introduced. Employing an Austrian A310, the carrier begins cooperating with SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) on a four-times-per-week nonstop Vienna-Chicago route on March 30. New markets are also initiated at Minsk, Hamburg, Goteborg, and Amman. The joint service with All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. and Aeroflot Soviet Airlines is temporarily suspended during the summer due to the Japanese carrier’s financial difficulties and the breakup of the Russian partner. At the same time, the carrier joins with Tarom Romanian Airlines to offer code-sharing on flights from Vienna to Timisoara and Bucharest.
Passenger and cargo handling at Austrian and Swiss airports pass to Austrian Airlines or Swissair, A. G. on September 1. In a unique plan unveiled in July, the two carriers, effective November 1, begin to operate such customer services as booking offices, check-in, and passenger lounges, jointly in their home markets. Also in November, the carrier establishes Austrian Airlines Lease and Finance Co., Ltd. as a subsidiary. Throughout the year, the company discusses a possible 51% majority takeover of Bregenz-based Rheintalflug-Rolf Seewald, GmbH.
Customer bookings recover, growing by 15.8% to 3,071,617, and revenues ascend 16.5% to $780.81 million. Expenses are up 17.6% to $828.41 and as a result, the operating loss is increased to $47.6 million. The net loss increases to $73 million.
The workforce totals 4,000 in 1993, down 9.9% from the previous year. The fleet now includes 3 A310-324s and 1 Dash-325, plus 9 Fokker 50s, 7 MD-81s, 6 MD-82s, 3 MD-87SRs, and 2 each MD-83s and MD-87ERs.
Destinations visited from Vienna, Graz, Linz, Klagenfurt, and Salzburg include Aleppo, Amman, Amsterdam, Ankara, Athens, Baghdad, Beirut, Belgrade, Berlin, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Cairo, Chicago, Copenhagen, Damascus, Dharan, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Goteborg, Graz, Hamburg, Helsinki, Istanbul, Innsbruck, Izmir, Johannesburg, Kiev, Klagenfurt, Larnaca, Linz, Lisbon, London, Ljubljana, Madrid, Malta, Milan, Minsk, Moscow, Munich, Nairobi, New York, Nice, Odessa, Paris, Prague, Riyadh, Rome, Salzburg, St. Petersburg, Sofia, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Tehran, Tel Aviv, Timisoara, Thessaloniki, Tirana, Tokyo, Tripoli, Turin, Venice, Vienna, Vilnius, Warsaw, Zagreb, and Zurich.
In February, the company elects not to merge Rheintalflug, announcing that it is in the major’s interest to keep the regional independent and flying replacement services on its behalf. A marketing alliance is entered into with South African Airways (Pty.), Ltd. in March that calls for code-sharing on flights of the two airlines between Vienna and Johannesburg. The following month, a similar agreement is signed with KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines, N. V.) covering joint flights between Vienna and Amsterdam and with Ukraine International Airlines for frequencies from Vienna to Odessa, Kiev, and Dnepropetrovsk. A joint handling company is also set up in Kiev.
Effective July 1, the supervisory board appoints Dr. Herbert Bammer and Mario Rehulka as the airline’s new joint managing directors. As the result of separatist Serb threats to shell the Croatian airports of Zagreb, Pula, and Rijeka, Austrian joins Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. on September 13 in suspending services into Zagreb. The German carrier elects to terminate its Frankfurt-Zagreb service in Graz, Austria.
Following management’s early November announcement that it will cut back the workforce by 500 jobs the next year, the carrier is shut down by a four-day strike of air and cabin crews protesting the early retirement of 16 pilots.
Passenger boardings inch up 1.8% to 2,643,843 while freight increases 17.5% to 86.44 million FTKs. Revenues climb 11.5% to $870.35 million, but costs are up 13% to $935.8 million. As a result, the operating loss swells to $65.45 million while the net loss is trimmed to $43.18 million.
The number of employees is cut another 8.9% in 1994 to 3,905 and, in March, the flag carrier assumes a 42.85% stake in Tyrolean Airways, GmbH. Ownership is divided between Gernot Langes-Swarovski GmbH., Austrian Airlines, and Leipnik Lundenburger Industrie AG. Plans are made to integrate the route networks of the new subsidiary and Austrian Air Services. A letter of intent is signed with Delta Air Lines in April for a marketing cooperation agreement, which will feature a code-share and blocked-seat arrangement on the Vienna to New York service.
Thrice-weekly roundtrip flights commence on June 1 between Vienna and Aleppo, Syria. The same day, twice-weekly frequencies are inaugurated from Vienna to Ankara, Turkey; twice weekly to Odessa, Ukraine; and four times per week to Ljubljana, Slovenia. In cooperation with Delta Air Lines, code-sharing and block-spaced flights commence on July 1 over the New York (JFK) to Vienna route.
It is announced in August that a code-sharing agreement has been signed with British Midland Airways, Ltd. Under its terms, Austrian purchases blocked seats on BMA services to Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, and Teesside while BMA is given its first opportunity to connect, via Vienna, with continuing services to Africa, the Mideast, and Eastern Europe.
The joint service with All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. is resumed in October, minus the Aeroflot Russian International Airlines (ARIA) partner, with Austrian aircraft thrice weekly from Osaka (KIX) to Vienna and twice weekly from Tokyo’s Narita Airport to Vienna. In addition, ANA aircraft operate a weekly code-shared Tokyo (NRT) to Vienna service.
On the afternoon of October 31, the airport at Graz, 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of Vienna, receives an anonymous call saying a bomb is about to go off. The caller signs off with the Nazi salute “Sieg Heil.” It is one of three bomb hoaxes to be perpetrated in Austria during the day.
A bomb alert on a November 1 flight from Cairo to Vienna causes the plane to turn back to the Egyptian capital shortly after takeoff; the MD-81 is searched, but no bomb is found.
Also in November, a code-sharing and block space agreement comes into effect with Iberia Spanish Airlines (Lineas Aereas de Espana, S. A.) on routes from Vienna to Madrid and Barcelona. Plans are made late in the year for the initiation, during the next year, of new or additional services to Beijing, Riga, Almaty, and Washington, D. C. (IAD).
Overall customer bookings decline by 4.2% to 2,531,834, but cargo is up 6% to 91.82 million FTKs. Revenues inch up 1.4% to $882,602,000, but even though expenses decline by 9.3%, they still total $902,820,000. Consequently, there is an operating loss of $20,218,000. On the other hand, a $774,600 net income is generated.
Airline employment in 1995 stands at 3,862, a 3% increase. During the year, the carrier introduces a new livery and restyled cabin interiors.
Four Fokker 70s are ordered in January. Under a new dual-designator pact with LOT Polish Airlines, S. A., the Warsaw-based flag carrier begins operating its ATR 72s from Krakow to Vienna. The service complements a Tyrolean Airways, A. G. Fokker 50 service over the same route begun the previous November.
In January-February, two additional new code-sharing pacts take effect. The first, with Air China, provides for cooperation on a service from Vienna to Beijing, with two extensions from the Chinese capital to Shanghai. The other, with Air Mauritius, Ltd., provides for codesharing on a route flown by AM aircraft from Vienna to Mauritius.
Two A340-211s join the fleet at the beginning of March and, on March 8, an “open skies” accord is signed between the U. S. and Austrian governments. The route between Vienna and Chicago is closed on March 26 and passengers previously booked on that route are shifted to Swissair, A. G.
With Air China having purchased an 80-seat allocation, the carrier inaugurates twice-weekly, dual-designator, 9-hr. 15-min. roundtrips on March 31 from Vienna to Beijing. At the same time a three-way block-space code-sharing service is launched with Delta Air Lines and Swissair, A. G. by Austrian A310-324s flying from Vienna to Washington, D. C. via Geneva. Flight attendants from all three carriers provide inflight services.
During the first week of April, joint flights with Swissair, A. G. commence between Zurich and Almaty via Vienna; the route complements an existing service from Zurich to Minsk, via Vienna. At the same time, the current cooperative Vienna-Zurich route is converted into an every-
As the result of the new alliance between Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. and SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) announced on May 11, the latter now reshuffles its strategic relationships, dropping that with Austrian. Austrian, meanwhile, enters into a code-sharing pact with CSA Czech Airlines covering six weekly roundtrips between Vienna and Prague.
When the peak tourist season begins in late spring-early summer, the new A340-211s inaugurate nonstop roundtrips from Vienna to Johannesburg and are placed on the route from Vienna to New York.
In July, accounting services are transferred, as a cost-cutting measure, to a Bombay, India, facility where Swissair, A. G. is already processing financial information. Also in midyear, the new “open skies” pact with the U. S. takes effect.
As the result of the tense military situation in Croatia, both Austrian and Swissair, A. G. suspend flights to Zagreb on August 2. The boycott will be lifted a week later.
Wearing a new corporate logo and revised color scheme, the first Fokker 70 arrives during the third week of October. It is employed, beginning on October 29, to inaugurate regional jetliner service from Vienna to Munich, Berlin, and Minsk. When the second arrives in November, it begins flying from Vienna to Geneva, Tirana, and Turin.
Passenger boardings jump 7% to 2,707,560 and freight swells 33.7% to 122.72 million FTKs. Operating revenues move ahead by 21.1% to $1.06 billion, but expenses, up 19.7%, are $1.08 billion. As a result, there is a $16.92-million operating loss. Still, the net picture is much better as a $20.22-million profit, later adjusted upward to $29.8 million, is posted.
The workforce is increased by 4.6% in 1996 to 4,146. Code-sharing flights begin with Asiana Airlines in February over a route from Vienna to Seoul; a new route is opened to Osaka (KIX) during the spring. The last 2 Fokker 70s are delivered in March.
When U. S. antitrust immunity is granted in June, a trilateral codeshare with Swissair, A. G. and Delta Air Lines begins from Vienna to Washington, D. C. via Zurich. Code-sharing with Delta Air Lines also starts from Vienna to New York (JFK) and beyond to five U. S. cities and from Vienna to Atlanta, which joins the route network just in time for the Olympics. The Georgia route also provides beyond service to five more U. S. destinations. In return, Delta Air Lines is allowed to codeshare on Austrian flights from Vienna to 13 European cities. The arrangement takes the form of block-seat purchases: Delta and Swissair purchase seats six-times-per-week on the Austrian service while Austrian sells seats from Vienna to Washington and Geneva.
Also in June, code-sharing service is initiated with fellow-Austrian carrier Lauda Air, GmbH. on frequencies from Vienna to Milan, Nice, and Rome and with Iran Air from Vienna to Tehran, the latter arrangement employing Austrian aircraft.
On October 1, weekly roundtrips commence from Vienna to Dnepropetrovsk, the former closed industrial city in the Ukraine where Soviet space rockets were built. The area remains an important steel and manufacturing center.
Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. and Austrian commence code-sharing flights in October from Vienna to Berlin, Hamburg, and Dusseldorf. The same month, Austrian and Singapore Airlines provide code-share on a route from Vienna to Singapore.
The company leases an Antonov An-12 and, at the end of October, launches joint all-cargo services into Eastern Europe in cooperation with Air Sofia.
To honor the nation’s 1,000th birthday, the carrier, just before winter, places into service the A321-111 Pinzgau wearing the faces of 24 distinguished Austrians along the sides of the fuselage from front wheel to tail; the red-white-red tail is adorned on each side with a painting of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Other new markets now initiated include Skopje and Kosice.
Enplanements climb 7.6% to 3,520,317 while 135.97 million freight FTKs are operated, a 9.6% increase. Operating income is ahead by 3.5% to $1.22 billion, but costs are up 3.1% to $1.23 billion. The operating loss declines to $7.2 million and a $25.6-million net profit is reported.
A Bosnian refugee facing deportation from Germany hijacks Flight 104, an MD-87 with 33 passengers, on January 7, 1997, but is overcome by police after the jetliner lands in Berlin. The unnamed man is sent back to his native country, shortly thereafter.
The next day, officials in Geneva announce that Swissair, A. G., together with its European partners Austrian and Sabena Belgian World Airlines, S. A., will be deepening the relationship with Delta Air Lines in the U. S. with the intention of increasing everyone’s share of the North Atlantic air travel market. The alliance will be called “Atlantic Excellence.”
Service begins to Delhi, Cape Town, and Sarajevo. During the third week of March, Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. agrees to sell almost half of its 39.7% stake in Lauda Air, A. G. to Austrian while, at the same time, a tentative equity agreement is signed with Lauda.
In May, the U. S. DOT approves the carrier’s plans to expand its blocked space, code-share agreements with Delta Air Lines and Swissair, A. G. to 30 U. S. cities beyond Atlanta, New York, and Cincinnati. In return, Delta will purchase seats on the alliance partners’ flights to eight cities beyond Brussels, Zurich, and Vienna.
On May 14, an office is opened in Shanghai under the direction of Alfred W. Brader. The company increases its twice-weekly services to Beijing to three weekly roundtrips on May 28; two of the flights are extended on to Shanghai.
The agreement with Lauda Air, A. G. takes effect on June 1 when Lauda surrenders 36% shareholding. Despite loss of majority control, founder Nikki Lauda remains CEO of the carrier bearing his name.
When the winter schedule begins on October 26, Austrian turns over to Lauda Air, A. G. its routes to the Baltic cities of Riga and Vilnius. That carrier launches daily Canadair services over them and adds its own new route from Vienna to Tallinn.
The same day, Austrian inaugurates twice-weekly A310-324 round-trips from Vienna to New Delhi under a block-seat, code-sharing agreement with Air India, Ltd. Under the accord, the Indian flag carrier will reserve 30 seats for its customers on each of the nonstop roundtrips.
During November, the company joins with Lauda Air, A. G. and Tyrolean Airways, A. G. to create Austrian Airlines Group-Cargo. The airline has a turnkey freight network for 118 destinations in Europe, the Mideast, the Far East, the U. S., and Australia.
On December 15, Austrian begins to code-share on Delta Air Lines flights from Daytona Beach, Florida, to Vienna via Atlanta. At Vienna, passengers are able to make seamless connections aboard Austrian flights.
Passenger boardings this year increase by 9% to 3,010,893 while freight jumps 28.9% to 164.96 million FTKs. Operating revenues surge 13.9% to $1.12 billion, while expenses are up 11.2% to $1.1 billion. Although the operating profit climbs to $27.2 million, net gain declines to $10.2 million.
On January 28, 1998, a memorandum of understanding is signed with TAP-Air Portugal, S. A. for a broad commercial agreement that includes Lauda Air, A. G.; plans are made to begin code-sharing on routes from Austria to Portugal during the summer.
The new Portuguese alliance is deepened on March 29 when the carrier joins with Swissair, A. G.,TAP-Air Portugal, S. A., Sabena Belgian World Airlines, S. A., THY Turkish Airlines, A. O., and AOM French Airlines, S. A. to form the “Qualiflyer” group. Although members will retain their own identities, they will engage in a long list of joint activities, including ground handling, lounges and ticket offices, and frequent flyer benefits. Collaborative activities that will be added as soon as details can be worked out include maintenance and overhaul, cargo, inflight catering, information technology, and duty-free concessions.
Flights between Vienna and New York (JFK) are increased to 12 per week on May 1.
In July, the company places into service a highly visible MD-83 with a bright yellow fuselage sporting a metal-gray ribbon swirling down and aft on its sides from cockpit windows to tail. Below the windowline on each side of the forward fuselage in huge block black letters are the titles for “Magic Life,” the inclusive-tour concern on whose behalf the airliner will be operated.
On August 26, the company takes delivery of the first A330-323-200 to be received by any European airline. The Dash-202, christened Dachstein, will be flown to North American and Asian destinations. For example, the new plane introduces a third weekly roundtrip frequency on the block-seat, code-sharing service from Vienna to New Delhi flown with Air India, Ltd. Three more A330s, all Dash-223s will be delivered over the next year.
During September, a planned capital increase is put off until spring, due partly to turmoil in financial markets. Twice-weekly roundtrip service is initiated on September 24 from Vienna to Kathmandu, Nepal; return flights refuel in New Delhi.
A code-sharing agreement signed with Air France in August takes effect on October 1. Under its terms, the two will share the seven daily return flights between Vienna and Paris. In addition, Air France will place its codes on Austrian flights into Eastern Europe while the Austrian designator will be shown on French domestic routes.
With several stock markets around the world suffering a downturn in early fall, the Austrian government now delays plans to reduce its holdings in the carrier via a fourth quarter $68-million capital increase. As the government would not have participated in the share issue, its stake would have dropped from 51.9% to a figure just under 40%.
Austrian joins the Dividend Miles frequent flyer program of USAir-ways on December 1.
On December 9, a 25-billion Austrian schillings (US$2.13-billion) order is placed with Airbus Industrie for 6 A320s and 1 A321 to be delivered between March 2001 and June 2003. It is simultaneously announced that scheduled service will be started in the new year to Baku, Yerevan, Tashkent, Atyrau, and Montreal.
Three days later, on December 11, the carrier’s dual-designator pact with Delta Air Lines is expanded as the Austrian flag carrier places its code on Delta’s daily, nonstop B-757-232 return service between Atlanta and Guatemala City.
Also during the year, the previoiusly independent charter subsidiary Austrian Air Transport (AAT) is folded back into its parent and its “OG” code is assigned to the new GO low-cost subsidiary of British Airways, Ltd. (2).
Customer bookings for the year ascend 13.9% to 3,423,252, while cargo traffic decreases 2.6% to 160.98 million FTKs. The Austrian group, which also includes Tyrolean Airways and 35.9% of Lauda Air, A. G., shows profits. The operating gain skyrockets 90% to 1.28 billion
Austrian schillings (US$101.9 million), while a net profit of 1.18 billion Austrian schillings is posted—an 85% boost.
During the first quarter of 1999, the A321-111 Pinzgou, which had been wearing a livery depicting the busts of 24 famous Austrian citizens, is repainted to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the death of composer Johann Strauss.
On the evening of March 24, Austrian halts all scheduled service into Belgrade in anticipation of NATO air strikes against Serbian military targets in the campaign for an independent Kosovo. A spokesman, in making the announcement, indicates that the situation will be evaluated further; however, that night, Operation Allied Force, the bombing attack on targets in Serbia and Kosovo, begins.
Service to Belgrade, as well as to Sarajevo, Mostar, Zagreb, Split, Skopje, Tirana, Ljubljana, Timisoara, and Sofia remains halted on March 25-31 and for much of the duration of the NATO’s Operation Allied Force bombing campaign. Austrian employs ground transportation to bring travelers from Skopje to Sofia. Flights that cross over the area are rerouted, resulting in lengthy delays.
With the start of the summer schedule on March 28, new service is inaugurated to Harare. Return A330-223 service is inaugurated on March 31 between Vienna and Shanghai, four times a week.
Once the UN lifts air restrictions against Libya at the beginning of April, airline officials open negotiations with their counterparts in Tripoli concerning a resumption of scheduled services.
On April 8, All Nippon Airways Company, Ltd. (ANA) sells its 9% stake in Austrian to Bank Austria and SKWB Schoellerbank, which take shares worth a nominal 160 million Austrian schillings and 74 million Austrian schillings, respectively.
The carrier, on April 19, opens a subscription period (to run through May 25) during which eight million common bearer shares with a nominal value of 100 Austrian schillings (US$7.85) each will be issued to reinforce the modernization and enlargement of the aircraft fleet. In the new share issue, 13 old shares entitle a stockholder to buy four new ones; all of the new shares carry dividend rights backdate to January 1, 1999.
The long-awaited capital increase of 800 million Austrian schillings (US$63.69 million) will raise the group’s share capital to a nominal value of 3.4 billion Austrian schillings. CA IB Invenstmentbank Ak-tiengesellschaft is global coordinator, with Salomon Smith Barney and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson as joint lead managers for international placement.
By April 23, the company is able to fly to all of its previous Balkan destinations except Belgrade, Skopje, and Tirana.
CEO Mario Rehulka reports on April 26 that the Austrian group, including Austrian Airlines, Lauda Air, and Tyrolean Airways, have lost revenue in each of the past five weeks because of the Kosovo crisis, including 4.4 million Austrian schillings (US$340,000) the week of April 19.
As the result of the suspension of UN sanctions against Libya, Austrian, on May 2, is able to resume its twice-weekly roundtrips between Vienna and Tripoli. Simultaneously, frequencies between Vienna and Beirut become daily.
Twice-weekly A3 30-223 roundtrips commence on May 3 between Vienna and Montreal.
Reuters, Ltd. reports on May 7 that the carrier’s stock has suffered heavy selling pressure during the day amid speculation that the new share issue is not doing well, primarily because of the Kosovo crisis and the nation’s proximity to the war-torn Yugoslavian province. Still, it is reported that allocation of shares will be made on May 12, with trading in subscription rights running from May 19 to 21. Hopes for a successful float remain high.
On May 25, Austrian is moved to the blue-chip ATX index. When the company reports a quadrupling 155.4 million ($12.37 million) of its pretax loss in the first quarter, shares on the ATX fall 4.19% to 25.39 euros.
Operation Allied Force is concluded on June 11.
In light of the earlier announcement of a strategic alliance between Air France and Delta Air Lines, Austrian, on August 16, announces that it will reevaluate its participation in the Swissair-led “Qualiflyer” group. Swissair had previously held a close commercial arrangement with Delta Air Lines. When it becomes known in September that Delta will depart the Atlantic Excellence Alliance in October, Austrian elects to abandon the “Qualiflyer” compact in favor of the “Star Alliance.” The fact that SAirGroup has without notice attempted to purchase the 9% stake in Austrian held by All Nippon Airways Company, Ltd. does not help matters. Incidentally, Austrian had just introduced the A320-214 Neusiedlersee in a special livery honoring the “Qualiflyer” alliance.
A number of political and natural difficulties have befallen the airline this year including the Kosovo crisis, the Freedom Party controversy in Vienna, the Turkish earthquakes, and soaring fuel prices.
The service to Almaty, begun in March 1995, ceases in December.
Passenger boardings move ahead by 2.6% to 3,780,000 while cargo jumps 19.6% to 87,044,000 FTKs. Income rises 4.5% to $1,259,002,000 while costs are up 8% to $1,257,021,000. The operating gain plunges to $1.98 million while net profit can only reach $12,654,000.
The workforce at the beginning of 2000 stands at 5,897, a 3.7% increase over the past 12 months.
A new A330-223 is delivered on January 17 wearing the “logo box” color scheme of the “Star Alliance.”
After six months of successful changeover and an investment of ATS 500 million, the full Austrian Airline Group (Austrian, Lauda Air, and Tyrolean Airways) becomes the 10th official member of the “Star Alliance” on March 26. The same day, the Cape Town extension of the company’s Vienna to Johannesburg service is dropped; instead, Austrian begins to code-share on South African Airways (Pty.), Ltd. flights on the Cape Town sector.
Although service to Helsinki is now suspended, weekday roundtrips begin from Vienna to Belgrade. Weekly A340-211 roundtrips are initiated from Vienna to Chicago (ORD).
As part of an overall cost rationalization and also because of Zimbabwe’s failing economy, the carrier, five days later, halts stopover in Harare on its Vienna-Johannesburg route. Arrangements are made to code-share on the twice-weekly Johannesburg-Harare return flights of Comair (Commercial Airways (Pty.), Ltd.).
The carrier also takes delivery of 2 A330s and 2 A320s during the first quarter and as the year progresses, progress is made toward the airline’s privatization.
A marketing and code-sharing agreement is signed with El Al Israel Airlines, Ltd. on July 14; dual designator services are scheduled to begin on November 1.
On August 3, it serves notice that it will discontinue service to Johannesburg in April 2001. On August 22, officials announce that they will increase its current 36% stake in Lauda Air Luftfahrtgesellschaft, A. G. to 59% over the next 11 months.
The European Commission informs Austrian Airlines on October 13 that it has serious concerns about its cooperation with SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) and Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. within the “Star Alliance” on both competition and the large number of routes from Austria to Germany and the Nordic countries.
AUTAIR HELICOPTERS (EA), LTD.: Box 41951, Wilson Airport, Nairobi, Kenya; Phone (2) 501918; Fax (2) 503362; Year Founded 1964. Autair Helicopters of East Africa is established at Nairobi in 1964 as a subsidiary of Autair International Airways,
Ltd. Young F. W. “Freddie” Wilcox is sent out to operate the concern, which serves as Bell distributor for Kenya and also provides various charter services.
Although the parent concern is taken over by Court Line, Ltd. in 1965, Wilcox and his Bell 47Gs are left to continue operations without interference from the U. K. This situation will continue long after Autair International becomes Court Line Aviation, Ltd. and fails under that concern in the 1970s.
Indeed, Freddie Wilcox remains the company chairmanthroughout the remainder of the decade, even though Capt. Mark Underwood is brought aboard to serve as general manager. The fleet now includes 1 each Bell 47G3, Bell 206B JetRanger, and 3 Bell 206L LongRangers.