Premium Economy at Austrian Airlines now available

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Effective immediately (since September 06th, 2017), Austrian Airlines passengers can book a seat in the new Premium Economy travel class for flights starting on March 6, 2018. The centrepiece of the new Premium Economy Class is a new seat providing passengers with more comfort on their journey compared to regular Economy Class seats. The first Boeing 767 will begin to be refitted today. All eleven long-haul aircraft in the Austrian Airlines fleet will gradually be refitted to include the new travel class. The twelfth long-haul aircraft to be acquired by Austrian Airlines in the spring of 2018 will also be equipped with Premium Economy.

“The new Premium Economy Class is an important milestone in our strategy aimed at linking the issue of individualization with quality. The customer can individually choose the travel class according to her or his needs, whether the preference is to fly in a price conscious manner in Economy Class, treat oneself to a little more service and comfort in Premium Economy or luxury travel in Business Class”, says Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto. In particular, the new Premium Economy Class is designed to appeal to passengers who want to afford more service and a higher level of comfort on flights to their holiday destinations as well as price-conscious companies whose employees should travel in comfort on business trips.

The new Premium Economy Class at a glance:

  • New seat with a broader seat surface and generous seat spacing
  • Footrest starting in the second row or leg support with integrated footrest in the first row
  • Always a separate central armrest with fold-out table and cocktail table
  • 12-inch screen with remote control for the in-flight entertainment system
  • Own power outlet and USB port on the seat
  • 2 x 23 kg free baggage
  • High-quality food selection with menu card
  • Welcome drink
  • Amenity kit with useful travel accessories

More space with the new seat

The Premium Economy seat produced specially for the Lufthansa Group is supplied by the aircraft seat manufacturer ZIM, and provides passengers with plenty of legroom based on seat spacing of up to 97 cm or 38 inches. Additional footrests take the strain off the legs on a long flight. The central armrest with fold-out table between the seats and a personal, broad armrest for every passenger enables more privacy and more room on the side. In addition, every seat is equipped with its own power outlet and USB port.

More service in the new travel class

The new Premium Economy Class offers much more than a considerably more comfortable seat. Passengers in the new travel class can check in two pieces of luggage at no charge, each with an allowable weight of up to 23 kilograms before being pampered on board with culinary delights. Travelers conveniently select their favorite food from the menu card, and the food is served on china dishware. Moreover, every passenger in this travel class is given a small amenity kit with useful travel accessories to ensure a restful stay on board. Premium Economy passengers enjoy the extensive in-flight entertainment programme on large 12-inch touchscreen monitors.

Flights in Premium Economy Class can be booked as of now, via Internet, on the Austrian Airlines booking hotline at 05 1766-1000 or at a travel agency. Premium Economy fares range between Business Class and Economy Class. For example, the round-trip Vienna-Bangkok-Vienna flight is available starting at EUR 839 including taxes and charges.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines – World Airline Awards 2017: European Service champion once again

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines was named the European champion in 2017 for its service for the fourth year in a row. The national airline once again achieved a top ranking in the renowned SKYTRAX World Airline Awards 2017 bestowed upon the winners in Paris on June 20, 2017. The Austrian Airlines team won the title “Best Airline Staff Service in Europe”, which applies to both its flight crew as well as its staff on the ground.

“Service is a matter of course for us despite price competition”, says Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto, who personally accepted the award in Paris on behalf of the airline. We are very pleased to be recognized as European champion in this category for the fourth straight year. We want to thank our customers for their appreciation and our employees for their commitment and customer orientation”.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Star Alliance voted best Alliance at Skytrax

Courtesy: Star Alliance.

In its 20th Anniversary year, Star Alliance has claimed the Best Airline Alliance title at the Skytrax World Airline Awards for the second year running. The Alliance’s prestigious Los Angeles Lounge also received the Best Airline Alliance Lounge Award for the third year in row.

Accepting the award at the Paris – Le Bourget Air Show, Jeffrey Goh, CEO Star Alliance said: “This is an important accolade to receive in our 20th Anniversary year. It once again shows that our investment into a modern IT infrastructure is paying off, enabling the more than 440,000 member airline employees to provide customers with an even better Alliance travel experience. Our IT hubs are the foundation which will allow us to use digital technology to offer a more individual and a better Alliance travel experience going forward.”

Star Alliance was the first airline alliance to receive the Best Alliance Award from Skytrax when the category was first introduced in 2005 and has since held the award eight times.

The World Airline Awards are managed by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax Research of London, UK. The latest survey was conducted between August 2016 and May 2017, attracting 19.87 million eligible entries with participants from 105 nationalities. The survey covered over 325 airlines, from largest international airlines to smaller domestic carriers, measuring quality standards for 41 Key Performance Indicators across front-line product and service factors in the Airport and On-board environments.

Complementing the Alliance awards, 13 Star Alliance member carriers received distinctions in 26 individual categories, with four achieving top 10 rankings in the Top Airline Category: Singapore Airlines (2), ANA (3), EVA (6) and Lufthansa (7).

Aegean Airlines

  • Best Regional Airline in Europe

Air Canada

  • Best Airline in North America

ANA

  • World’s Best Airport Services
  • Best Airline Staff in Asia

Austrian Airlines

  • Best Airline Staff in Europe

Avianca

  • Best Airline in South America
  • Best Regional Airline in South America

COPA Airlines

  • Best Airline in Central America / Caribbean
  • Best Airline Staff in Central America

Ethiopian Airlines

  • Best Airline in Africa

EVA Air

  • Best Business Class Comfort Amenities
  • World’s Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness

Lufthansa

  • Best Airline in Europe
  • Best Airline in Western Europe
  • Best First Class Lounge Dining

Singapore Airlines

  • Best Airline in Asia
  • Best Business Class Airline Seat
  • Best Premium Economy Onboard Catering

South African Airways

  • Best Airline Staff in Africa

THAI

  • Best Economy Onboard Catering
  • World’s Best Economy Class
  • Best Airline Lounge Spa Facilities

Turkish Airlines

  • Best Airline in Southern Europe
  • Best Business Class Onboard Catering
  • World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge
  • Best Business Class Lounge Dining

Source: Star Alliance.

Austrian Airlines is the most punctual airline worldwide

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines was the world’s most punctual airline in March 2017. This can be seen in the latest statistics from flightstats.com for global airlines. With an arrival on-time rate of 92.72%, Austrian Airlines was ahead of Spanish Iberia (90.74%) and Singapore Airlines (89.19%). Punctuality is measured in the airline industry with <15 minutes. This means that all flights within the 15-minute time window are considered as punctual.

Alitalia (88.73%) was in fourth place, while Lufthansa ranked fifth (87.80%). The other placements were: Polish LOT (87.54%), Japanese JAL (87.17%), Japanese ANA (86.72%), Scandinavian SAS (86.22% ) and Arabian Etihad Airways (85.83%) on place ten.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

 

Austrian Airlines – From Now On: Internet on short and medium-haul flights

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines launches Internet on board in real time operation. Two aircraft are “online” effective immediately, and starting tomorrow another 10 jets will be added. All 31 Airbus aircraft of the Austrian Airlines fleet have already been technically converted to enable Internet use, and will be successively “activated” in the current month of May 2017. Accordingly, passengers will also be able to use the Internet on short-haul and medium-haul flights as they fly above the clouds, and choose one of three different Internet rates: FlyNet Message for three euros, FlyNet Surf for seven euros and FlyNet Stream for twelve euros for each leg of the journey. FlyNet Message only allows for use of messaging services such as e-mail, WhatsApp or iMessage, whereas passengers can also surf on the Internet with the FlyNet Surf option. Streaming is possible with the FlyNet Stream tariff. All three packages can be billed via credit card or the payment service PayPal.

“We have thoroughly tested the new technology in recent months on five Airbus jets and 3,000 flights. Now I am pleased to be able to offer Internet above the clouds”, says Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto.

The offering of Austrian Airlines and its technology partner Inmarsat is based on the most advanced broadband satellite technology Ka band). This ensures reliable Internet coverage on short-haul and medium-haul flights on the basis of the Inmarsat network Global Xpress (GX). Deutsche Telekom serves as the Internet service provider and partner of Inmarsat.

Digital entertainment program as of the summer of 2017

At present Austrian Airlines is working on a new, digital entertainment program. This is expected to come on stream and be made available to passengers via the WLAN network starting in the summer of 2017. This means that passengers with a FlyNet Surf or FlyNet Stream package will be able to use their mobile devices to access an entertainment program consisting of films and series. In line with passenger requests, it is still not allowed to make telephone calls on board Austrian Airlines flights.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines adorns Boeing 777 jet with the Blue Danube Waltz

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Felipe Kolm.

The Blue Danube Waltz is not only on board Austrian Airlines flights but now also on the exterior of an aircraft. In time to commemorate the launch of flight service to Los Angeles, Austrian Airlines adorned the Boeing 777 with the name “Spirit of Austria” with a 45-meter long line stave of the Blue Danube Waltz. One can see the prelude to the piece of music composed by Johann Strauss in the 19th century, which, strictly speaking, is called “On the beautiful blue Danube”. This Waltz celebrates it´s 150th anniversary this year. On the wide body aircraft is also shown the slogan “mySound of Austria” and a flight attendant, who spreads the Waltz into the world.

72 percent of passengers want the Blue Danube Waltz

From an international perspective, the Blue Danube Waltz stands for Austria, its culture and its long musical tradition. It is closely linked to Vienna and its culture of balls, and it is regularly played in Austria at the turn of the year. This piece of music has been heard during boarding and de-boarding of Austrian Airlines flights for years. In the meantime, it is closely associated with the red-white-red national carrier, and an integral part of the Austrian Airlines brand. An online survey carried out in the spring of 2016 confirmed that the Blue Danube Waltz has become an indispensable aspect of flying with Austrian Airlines: 72 percent of the 2,500 customers clearly voted for the airline continuing to play the Blue Danube Waltz on board Austrian Airlines flights.

Special sticker over the entire aircraft fuselage

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Felipe Kolm.

The Boeing 777-200 with the registration code OE-LPD was adorned with the Blue Danube Waltz by means of a special sticker. Although it sounds quite easy, the undertaking involved a major effort. The sticker consists of 38 individual pieces and extends over a net area of 52 m². The Boeing 777-200 is 63.7 meters long. The stave with the notes is about 45 meters long and extends almost over the entire fuselage of the long-haul jet. Gluing the sticker onto the jet took three entire days.

Boeing 777 – ambassador for Austria 

Austrian Airlines currently operates a total of five Boeing 777-200 aircraft in its fleet. The Boeing 777 is the largest long-haul aircraft in the Austrian Airlines fleet, with room for up to 312 passengers. The jet with the Blue Danube Waltz on its fuselage will serve as an ambassador for Austria in the world. The Boeing 777-200 has a range of up to 11,500 km. More specifically, this aircraft will be deployed in the summer for flights to Bangkok, Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Bejing and Shanghai, and during the winter season also on flights to Mauritius and New York.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Surfing above the clouds: Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines going online on short haul and mid-range flights too

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Send emails from a height of 10,000 meters, do your online shopping while soaring over the Alps, stream videos above the clouds – and all of that with broadband quality. Soon, passengers of Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will be able to go online on shorter journeys too – as they have already been able to do for some time on long haul flights.

Last summer, Lufthansa received the so-called Supplemental Type Certificate for the Airbus fleet A320 from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and successfully concluded all the necessary preparation work. Now the next stage of testing on Lufthansa and Austrian routes will start, initially involving five aircraft in each case. Passengers who fly on these aircraft will be offered free Internet use during this test phase. The analysis of the user behaviour will provide the data necessary to further enhance the service ahead of its market launch.

Harry Hohmeister, member of the Board of Directors of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and responsible for Hub Management, says “I am pleased that we can soon offer broadband Internet to our passengers on inner-European flights, giving them the chance to have a seamless digital experience. Since the launch of Lufthansa Flynet, it has been our goal to offer added value on board to our customers through innovation – and that also includes our Internet provision”.

In the first quarter of 2017, the number of Lufthansa aircraft fitted out with Internet access will rise to around 20. One by one, the entire Lufthansa A320 fleet is to be equipped with the latest advanced technology by the middle of 2018. The re-fitting of all 31 aircraft at Austrian Airlines is planned to be completed before the end of April 2017. As well as Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, Eurowings also has plans to bring the Internet on board its aircraft – estimated launch is to be by the end of the first quarter 2017. A total of 69 Eurowings aircraft are to be fitted with the systems by the summer of 2017.

Lufthansa passengers can gain Wifi access to the Internet using their own mobile devices. As well as email services, applications such as video streaming will be possible too. Market launch of the new service is scheduled to take place sometime during the first quarter of the year. Customers will then be able to choose between three different service packages – FlyNet Message for EUR 3, FlyNet Surf for EUR 7 and FlyNet Stream for EUR 12 per flight. Whilst FlyNet Message only allows the use of messaging services such as email, WhatsApp or iMessage, FlyNet Surf also enables passengers to surf the Internet. With the FlyNet Stream service package, streaming is also possible. The packages can be paid for by credit card or via payment services such as Paypal.

The Internet service of Lufthansa Airlines and their technology partner Inmarsat uses the latest broadband satellite technology (Ka-band) and provides seamless, reliable coverage on short haul and mid-range flights via the Inmarsat network Global Xpress (GX). Inmarsat partner Deutsche Telekom will be the Internet Service Provider for Lufthansa passengers.

Lufthansa Technik is responsible for the fitting of all the systems and components, as well as dealing with the required Aviation regulations and other statutory authorisations. They are fitting out the entire Airbus A320 family of the Lufthansa Group Airlines with the latest Ka-band satellite technology. By spring, almost 100 aircraft are scheduled to have been equipped. The aircraft can be fitted with the required antennae and routers on a series of ten production lines, working simultaneously, at the Lufthansa Technik sites. On account of the only minimally-invasive adjustments needed to the aircraft structure, the rapid re-fitting of even large fleets is possible – generally involving just four days downtime per aircraft.

Lufthansa Systems is providing the necessary technical infrastructure for Internet connection on board. This includes the network operations in the aircraft – the technical pre-requisite for Wifi on board – as well as the provision of the necessary software for the operation of the FlyNet portal, through which the customer gains access to the net.

Within the framework of their global partnership, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik are in addition providing a modern, multi-functional digital platform (BoardConnect) to enable digital use cases ranging from entertainment to ancillary revenues. Both Lufthansa Group Airlines and external customers will profit from this strong cooperation arrangement.

As long ago as 15 January, 2003, Lufthansa was the operator of the first commercial long haul flight worldwide to have broadband Internet access. The service had to be taken off the market in 2006 despite its technically reliable system and its growing popularity with passengers, because the necessary “Connexion by Boeing” satellites ceased operations. Since the end of 2010, Lufthansa has again been offering broadband Internet access on its inter-continental flights – once again as worldwide first. And since June 2015, FlyNet has been available on all current 107 Lufthansa long haul aircraft, With the addition of the Boeing 777 to the fleet, the group’s subsidiary SWISS also started offering Internet on its long haul flights; for the short haul and mid-range, its introduction is currently also under consideration.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.