Austrian Airlines: Airbus A320 OE-LBZ took off on maiden flight to Bucharest

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines - Hannes Winter.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Hannes Winter.

The Airbus A320 with the registration number OE-LBZ took off punctually today (November 28th, 2016) at 7:15 a.m. local time on its first flight OS 789 from Vienna to Bucharest. The aircraft named “Obertauern” offers sufficient space to seat 168 passengers. The medium-haul jet with the Star Alliance livery will be primarily deployed for bilateral flight traffic between Austria and Germany.

In addition to upgrading the fleet by integrating almost new Embraer aircraft to replace its Fokker jets, Austrian Airlines is also adding two Airbus A320 aircraft to expand its fleet. At the end of October the first of the two A320 with the registration number OE-LBY departed from Vienna on its initial flight, followed today by the jet with the designator OE-LBZ. On balance, a total of 31 aircraft of the A320 family are now being operated by Austrian Airlines: seven Airbus A319, 18 A320 and six A321.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines again looking to hire 100 new pilots in 2017

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Michele Pauty.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Michele Pauty.

Austrian Airlines will have hired a total of 145 new male and female pilots before the end of 2016. Moreover, it is searching for 100 pilots for the year 2017. The additional need for young pilots is related to the retraining drive triggered by the integration of 17 Embraer jets to replace the previous 21 Fokker planes, as well as the expansion of the fleet by two Airbus A320 and a long-haul Boeing 777 jet, which is scheduled for deployment starting with the 2018 summer flight schedule.

The pilots hired by Austrian Airlines in the year 2016 were pilots who were already trained. Some had flight experience outside of the Lufthansa Group, but the majority successfully completed their training within the Group however did not have any flight experience (young commercial pilots). “In 2017, Austrian Airlines will recruit applicants on the market who not possess any flight experience, and will train them from scratch”, explains Jens Ritter, Accountable Manager Austrian Airlines. “I am pleased that we will be able to give the go-ahead for the European Flight Academy, the new flight school for the Lufthansa Group, where future pilots will commence their basic flight instruction.”

Group flight school: the “European Flight Academy”

The first course for up to 30 young future pilots will begin on February 6, 2017. The future commercial pilots will complete the theoretical phase of their training in Bremen, Germany. Practical flight training will be held in Goodyear, Arizona in the USA and in Rostock-Laage, Germany, using modern and low-emission training aircraft. At the end of their training, which lasts for about 21 months, they will receive the so-called Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). Subsequently, the graduates will have to acquire the license to fly a specific type of aircraft, in which they will begin their flying career at Austrian Airlines.

The selection process will take place in Vienna or Hamburg. The course participants are required to successfully complete the aptitude test prepared by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt – DLR).


The job vacancies target both men and women and are aimed at applicants with flight experience (so-called ready entries) as well as those without any flight experience (so-called ab initios). The requirements for potential candidates are EU citizenship as well as a secondary school diploma, vocational diploma or university entrance qualification or subject-specific entrance qualification of the country of origin. Candidates should be at least 165 cm tall, and possess an unrestricted passport. Moreover, they should have a very good command of German and English (written and spoken). People with eyeglasses or contact lenses may only have a maximum of +/-3.0 diopters. Further information for potential applicants is available at

The Austrian Airlines fleet

On balance, Austrian Airlines will employ about 1,100 pilots on its staff by the end of 2016. The Austrian Airlines fleet currently consists of 78 aircraft, including 11 long-haul airplanes and 67 short- and medium-haul jets.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines will operate flights to Gothenburg starting June 2017

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines is expanding its flight offering to Scandinavia, and will relaunch service to Gothenburg as of June 2, 2017. It will deploy an Embraer jet for three weekly flights to Sweden’s second largest city. On balance, Austria’s national carrier offers travelers two destinations and 24 direct flight connections to Sweden i.e. 21 weekly flights to Stockholm and three times each week to Gothenburg. Starting with its summer 2017 flight schedule, Austrian Airlines will boast a total of four destinations in three Scandinavian countries, namely Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Gothenburg. Austrian Airlines operated flights on the Vienna-Gothenburg-Vienna route up until the year 2012, and cancelled flight service within the context of its fleet Boeing 737 reduction program.

The flights to the Swedish college town comprise an optimal flight traffic linking Vienna with the Gothenburg business location. In addition, Austrian Airlines offers the best possible connecting flights to Austria’s federal provinces as well as to Central and Eastern Europe. Flight time from Vienna to Gothenburg is about two hours.


Route Flight number Weekday Departure-Arrival


OS 323 Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 9:50 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.


OS 324 Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Lufthansa Group to serve new holiday destinations over winter

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

The airlines in the Lufthansa group – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines – will be even a more attractive option for winter holidaymakers and business travellers this winter. As always, passengers can rely on the high standard of service, quality and reliability of the Lufthansa Group.

In the forthcoming 2016/2017 winter flight timetable, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group will offer its customers precisely 19,838 flights each week around the world. This winter, the Lufthansa Group airlines will link 255 destinations in 101 countries via its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also via many point-to-point routes. These services will be supplemented by more than 18,000 code-sharing flights with some 30 partner airlines, offering passengers a network which almost spans the globe. The winter flight timetables for the individual Group airlines apply from Sunday, 30 October 2016 to Saturday, 25 March 2017.

Key news from the Lufthansa group airlines:


Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Lufthansa lists a total of 194 destinations in its winter flight timetable and offers approximately 9,668 flights a week. There is some good news for travellers who love South Africa: Lufthansa is adding a service from Frankfurt to Cape Town (South Africa) to its flight timetable again this winter.  Starting on 2 December 2016, a Lufthansa aircraft will take off from Frankfurt every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday bound for the port city near Table Mountain. This year-round service expands the Lufthansa Group’s multi-hub portfolio and perfectly complements the seasonal service previously operated out of Munich and Zurich in conjunction with Edelweiss.

Flights will also run to San Jose (USA) in Silicon Valley over winter, along with the attractive dream destinations of Mauritius, Malé (Maldives) and Cancún (Mexico). Lufthansa has significantly increased the number of connections to Nairobi (Kenya), Dallas (USA) and Poona (India).

Funchal (Madeira) is being added to the European programme, with a once-weekly flight to the city commencing on 29 October 2016. Thanks to mild weather all year round, the Portuguese island primarily attracts walkers during the winter season.

The list of new European destinations served out of Frankfurt also includes Tromsø (Norway) and Ivalo (Finland), with one flight to each per week. With these two new destinations and its existing twice-weekly service from Munich to Kittilä (Finland), Lufthansa will fly to three attractive tourist destinations in the far north of Europe. This region is gaining in popularity among winter sports enthusiasts and holidaymakers keen to see the northern lights. The summer destination of Tirana (Albania) will remain on the winter flight timetable, with daily flights to the city from Frankfurt. There will be an increase in the number of connections from Frankfurt to Friedrichshafen and Wrocław (Poland) over winter.

A new year-round service to Marrakesh (Morocco) will be offered out of Munich. Lufthansa will start operating this route on 30 October, taking passengers to the Moroccan city twice a week. Denver (USA) and Tehran (Iran) will be added to the winter flight timetable as new destinations and there will be more frequent services to Los Angeles, Miami (both USA) and Tel Aviv (Israel).

Debrecen (Hungary), Odessa (Ukraine) and Porto (Portugal) will remain on the timetable. Passengers will be able to fly from Munich to the Polish city of Rzeszów this winter for the first time. There will also be additional weekly services to Ancona (Italy) and Graz (Austria). Twice as many flights will run to Malta.

Austrian Airlines

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

In winter 2016/2017, Austrian Airlines will offer its passengers a wide range of up to 130 destinations in 56 countries. The Austrian carrier is stepping up its focus on tourist destinations over winter. For instance, a Boeing 767 will fly to the Cuban city of Havana once a week starting on 25 October. In addition, there will be direct flights from Vienna to the Maldives and Mauritius up to twice a week. The airline will offer as many as two weekly connections to Marrakesh and a once-weekly flight to Colombo in Sri Lanka in its winter flight timetable. With these additions, Austrian will address its strong seasonality and fly to an interesting range of sunny destinations in winter as well as in summer.

Brussels Airlines

Courtesy: Brussels Airlines

Courtesy: Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines will serve a large number of new destinations this winter. Starting on 6 March 2017, the Belgian airline will fly to the Indian metropolis of Mumbai from Brussels five times a week. The new service to Toronto (Canada), which was introduced during the last flight timetable period, will continue to run over winter.

There is good news for anyone looking to travel to Africa. The seating capacity on flights to the popular winter destinations of Banjul (Gambia) and Dakar (Senegal) will be increased and more frequent services to Entebbe (Uganda) and Kigali (Rwanda) will make it easier to travel to East Africa.

Compared with last winter, Brussels Airlines has significantly expanded its flight timetable, adding services from Brussels to Porto (Portugal), Naples (Italy), Belfast (Ireland), Nuremberg (Germany) and Nantes (France). On top of this, the airline is increasing its weekly flights to Lisbon (Portugal), Málaga, Tenerife (both Spain), Edinburgh (UK) and Billund (Denmark).


Courtesy: Lufthansa Group.

Courtesy: Lufthansa Group.

Eurowings will further add to its growing list of services from Austria in the new winter flight timetable. For the first time, Eurowings Europe aircraft will fly from the new base in Salzburg to Zurich (Switzerland) six times a week, Geneva (Switzerland) three times a week, Brussels (Belgium) four times, Paris (France) five times and Hamburg (Germany) three times a week. There will be seven flights per week to Cologne-Bonn (Germany).

A host of attractive new destinations will be served out of Vienna this winter. Eurowings passengers will be able to fly to Málaga, Fuerteventura and Las Palmas twice a week or head to the Andalusian city of Jerez de la Frontera (all Spain) once a week. Rome and Pisa will be added to the list of destinations in Italy. Passengers looking to soak up the Egyptian sun over winter can now fly from Vienna to Marsa Alam (Egypt) once a week. A new once-weekly service will also be available to Faro (Portugal). Passengers will also be able to fly to Nuremberg (Germany) eleven times a week over winter. Thanks to the expansion of the flight timetable at the new foreign base in Vienna, passengers will be able to reach 18 destinations for the first time.

During the winter season, the long-haul programme will be expanded with a once-weekly flight from Cologne to the Cuban capital of Havana. The first winter service from Cologne to Miami (USA) and back will also be introduced. This US destination was first included in the flight timetable in summer 2016. There will be more frequent long-haul services from Cologne to Varadero (Cuba), Mauritius and Phuket (Thailand).

The destinations of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura (both Spain) and Lisbon (Portugal) will be added to the list of flights out of Düsseldorf. Passengers will be offered new services from Hamburg to Tenerife and Fuerteventura (both Spain) this winter.

In the new winter flight timetable 2016/2017, Eurowings will serve 91 destinations in 34 countries.


Courtesy: SWISS.

Courtesy: SWISS.

In the forthcoming winter flight timetable, the new SWISS long-haul aircraft, a Boeing 777-300ER, will be used for flights to Miami and San Francisco for the first time. Starting on 3 March 2017, the new flagship will also fly to Singapore every day. This service is currently run three times a week using a Boeing 777-300ER. SWISS will also step up its weekly connections to Hamburg, Berlin (both Germany), Cracow (Poland) and Belgrade (Serbia) in winter. Between 4 and 25 February 2017, SWISS will also offer a number of new scheduled flights between Zurich, Sion (Valais, Switzerland) and London City (UK) to meet the demand for attractive services catering for winter tourism. SWISS will use larger aircraft on flights to Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia), Portugal (Lisbon) and Italy (Rome, Florence) this winter.

In the new winter flight timetable 2016/2017, SWISS will serve 100 destinations in 44 countries.

In addition to this, SWISS will offer connections to holiday destinations around the world in conjunction with its partner Edelweiss during the winter season 2016/2017. More frequent flights will be offered to the Canary Islands. For the first time, there will be five flights a week to Tenerife, four to Gran Canaria and two to both Fuerteventura and Lanzarote (all Spain). Passengers will also be able to fly to Seville (Spain) twice a week over winter for the first time.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Austrian Embraer with Star Alliance livery took off on maiden flight

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines - Michele Pauty.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Michele Pauty.

Yesterday evening (September 30th, 2016), another Embraer aircraft took off on its initial flight OS 657 from Vienna to Chişinău, the capital city of the Republic of Moldova. This jet is the first aircraft in the Austrian Airlines fleet bearing both the new red-white-red Austrian Airlines livery as well as the Star Alliance lettering. The Embraer featuring the registration number OE-LWH is already the tenth of a total of 17 of this type of aircraft which Austrian Airlines will integrate into its fleet by the end of 2017, thus successively replacing 21 Fokker jets.

The Embraer jets consume about 18 percent less fuel per aircraft seat than the Fokker, and are thus much more environmentally friendly. The fleet renewal program also enhances travel comfort: the cabin, which has a 2-2 seat configuration, is particularly spacious thanks to its ergonomic design and therefore offers passengers a feeling of enjoying more space. The Embraer jets have an average age of four years and have a seating capacity for 120 passengers. The list price of an Embraer jet is about USD 52 million.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines flies to the Seychelles

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines will initiate flight service to the Seychelles starting with its winter 2017/18 flight schedule. As of October 25, 2017, it will fly non-stop every Wednesday from Vienna to the vacation island in the Indian Ocean, returning to Vienna on Thursdays. “Demand for direct flights to long-haul tourist destinations is high. We responded: In addition to Mauritius, Colombo and Havana, the Seychelles represent our fourth new destination within a period of only two years”, says Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto.

As a result, Austrian Airlines will offer a total of five long-haul tourist destinations in its winter 2017/18 flight schedule. Up to two flights per week will be operated to both Mauritius and the Maldives. Austrian Airline will also operate one direct flight each week to Colombo, Havana and the Seychelles.

The Republic of Seychelles is an island state consisting of about 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. Flights can be booked at or in a travel agency starting on October 25, 2016.

Austrian Airlines will deploy a Boeing 767 for flights to the Seychelles:

Route Flight number Flight days Departure – Arrival (Local times)
Vienna – Seychelles OS 013 Wednesdays 8:05 p.m. – 8 a.m. (next day)
Seychelles – Vienna OS 014 Thursdays 10:10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 Source: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines invests in additional aircraft at the Vienna flight hub

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Last Wednesday, the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa AG, as the final and highest corporate body in the company, approved large-scale investments in the Austrian Airlines fleet. The investments will serve as the basis for the first strategy package of Austrian Airlines entitled “Next Level Austrian“ at the Vienna flight hub as well as for the acquisition of one additional intercontinental and two additional continental aircraft. These three planes alone represent an investment value of more than EUR 100 million. As a result, more than 230 additional jobs will be created at the Vienna hub. The two Airbus A320 jets will already serve to enlarge the Austrian Airlines fleet this year, whereas the Boeing 777 aircraft is expected to first be deployed starting with the summer flight schedule 2018.

“I am pleased that the go-ahead has been given to the first package of the ‘Next Level Austrian’ strategy and thus the next step in the development of Austrian Airlines”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky. “The conclusion of the collective bargaining agreement for the flight crew and the positive signals from political decision makers with respect to Vienna as a flight hub ensure a good investment climate.” In the next step, Austrian Airlines is to make a decision regarding the modernization of the long-haul fleet, in light of the fact that, as is already well known, the existing fleet of long-haul aircraft will begin to reach the end of their useful economic lives starting in 2020. “In this case we will be talking about an investment sum which is clearly higher than EUR 1 billion”, adds CFO Heinz Lachinger.

Prospects for new direct flight connections originating in Vienna

The two additional Airbus aircraft from Lufthansa will mainly be deployed for bilateral German-Austrian flight traffic. In contrast, the wide-body jet in the package approved today will be used for new direct flight connections from Vienna. Destinations in Asia as well as America and Africa appear to be of particular interest. Recently, the Austrian flag carrier added new nonstop flights to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Los Angeles to its flight schedule. In addition to the expansion of the Austrian Airlines fleet the investment in a Premium Economy Class for the long-haul fleet was also approved. During the winter of 2017/18, this new class will be integrated in all intercontinental aircraft of Austrian Airlines. Already this year, the airline will begin installing Internet on board: The 31 Airbus jets will be successively equipped with WLAN as of November 2016 and subsequently tested. Starting in December 2016, Austrian Airlines passengers will be able to use Internet on board the first converted aircraft.

An overview of the Next Level Austrian Package:

  • The long-haul fleet grows by an additional Boeing 777:
    The wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft approved today will be leased from the Irish aircraft lessor AerCap for a period of about eight years. This represents an investment value of about EUR 60 million, including conversion costs. The original value of this jet, the world’s largest twin-engine passenger aircraft, is about EUR 200 million. Around 150 employees are required to operate such an aircraft (110 flight attendants, 30 pilots, five station employees and five technicians). Depending on the seating design, the aircraft boasts seating capacity for about 300 people, and will transport about 150,000 passengers per year. At present, Austrian Airlines operates six Boeing 767 and five Boeing 777 aircraft.
  • Expansion of the medium-haul fleet by two Airbus A320:
    The additional two Airbus A320 aircraft approved today were leased from the Lufthansa Group for a period of approximately eight years as well, representing an investment value of about EUR 50 million, including conversion costs. The original value of an A320 aircraft is close to EUR 90 million. A total of 42 employees are needed to operate such an aircraft (28 flight attendants and 14 pilots). Depending on the seating design, the jet features seating capacity for about 174 people, and will transport some 225,000 passengers annually.  The additional capacity of the two aircraft will be deployed for the Innsbruck-Frankfurt, Salzburg-Frankfurt, Graz-Frankfurt and Vienna-Munich routes. Austrian Airlines currently operates 29 aircraft of the Airbus A320 family (seven A319, 16 A320 and six A321). On balance, Austrian Airlines operates a fleet of 78 aircraft.
  • Austrian Airlines introduces Premium Economy on all long-haul flights as of 2018:
    Building upon the positive experience of Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines has decided to introduce a Premium Economy Class between the Economy and Business Class rows on all its B767 and B777 long-haul aircraft. “Premium Eco” will offer passengers individual seats featuring a larger reclining angle, more seat spacing and broader seating surface. In addition, the screen for on-demand entertainment will be bigger than for Economy Class passengers, and catering will be upgraded. In terms of pricing, the Premium Economy tickets will be offered at an attractive entry level ranging between Economy Classic and Business Class rates. The aircraft will be adapted in the winter of 2017/2018 and will be ready to be deployed starting with the 2018 summer flight schedule. A total of 18 Premium Eco seats will be installed on B767 jets and 24 Premium Eco seats on B777 aircraft at the expense of Business and Economy Class. Depending on the current seating configuration, the seating capacity on the B767 aircraft will be reduced by three or fourteen seats to 211, and the number of seats on the B777 jets will decline from 308 to 302. Nevertheless, the airline expects higher proceeds. Total investments for Premium Eco will amount to about EUR 15 million.
  • Austrian Airlines will offer Internet on board as of mid-December 2016:
    Internet on board Austrian Airlines flights will represent a further impetus for innovation. In November 2016, the first Airbus will already be equipped with Inflight Connectivity (IFC) and tested. Following successful tests, Austrian Airlines passengers will be able to use Internet on board the first aircraft as of mid-December 2016. The entire Airbus fleet is scheduled to be upgraded by the 2017 summer flight schedule. Investments for the project will amount to about EUR 5 million. The future offering of Austrian Airlines and a technology partner is based on the latest broadband satellite technology (Ka band) and offers seamless, reliable coverage on the Airbus fleet. Passengers will be able to make use of Internet access via WLAN with their own mobile devices. In addition to simple e-mail services, it will also be possible to access more demanding applications, including streaming. Austrian Airlines will announce details on the fee model for this service at the time it is introduced. Due to the fact that many passengers consider making phone calls on board to be annoying, it will continue to be forbidden on Austrian Airlines flights.

The above-mentioned measures only represent part of the Next Level Austrian strategy package. After the restructuring, the Austrian flag carrier is expected to play a more decisive role within the Lufthansa Group in the future. Key issues will include the expansion of the long-haul network, investments in a new aircraft technology and upcoming cooperation with system partners.

“We want to more strongly exploit the cost advantages of Austrian Airlines in the Lufthansa Group, and play a bigger role in product developments”, explains Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto. Austrian Airlines has already set an example in terms of innovations based on products such as á la carte catering, business class online auctions and social gifting.”

Source: Austrian Airlines.