Austrian Airlines’ Return to the Transatlantic Current market


Functioning a modern, gasoline-efficient fleet over an increasing route procedure and carrying almost 1.5 million travellers in 1986, Austrian at the time all over again contemplated intercontinental service, now the two to New York in the west and to Tokyo in the east, and toward this end converted its earlier order for two medium-range Airbus Industrie A-310-200s to the extensive-array A-310-300 edition on June 25, 1986. The initial memorandum of comprehension for the A-310-200s had been signed as far back as 1979 or a decade in advance of the company would in fact get off the floor. 3 aspects could be cited as to why the time may possibly have been ripe for the relaunching of this service:

First of all, in the 15-12 months interval because its 1st and only intercontinental service was discontinued, its residence current market had substantially developed, as demonstrated by the several will increase in nonstop US-Vienna support, by Pan Am, Royal Jordanian, and Tarom from New York, and by American from Chicago.

The Vienna hub had been significantly created and was now equipped to offer several a lot more connecting alternatives with equally Austrian and other carriers to nearly any place in the planet. Since of the country’s proximity to these destinations, Austrian, specially, maintained a single of the most extensive East European route networks. Added to the geographical spot was the actuality that its compact Schwechat hub was equipped to aid connections in as few as 25 minutes and theoretically enabled a passenger to fly from New York to any of the East European countries with a end in Vienna in much less time than a later on departing nonstop would have with a person of the East European flag carriers, these as Aeroflot, CSA, Great deal, or Tarom. As a final result, Austrian was recognized as “the western airline to Eastern Europe” and “the connection amongst the west and east.” Glasnost had also presented the impetus for unprecedented fascination in East European vacation at this time and was witnessed as marketing increased transatlantic load elements to feed East European flights. Its route program in standard also provided excellent connections to West European, North African, and Middle Jap destinations.

Last but not least, the adequately sized, lengthy-assortment aircraft that could facilitate financially rewarding, calendar year-round operations had ultimately been developed. Even the then-smallest prolonged-vary widebody airliners, this kind of as the DC-10-30 and the L-1011-500, would only have been profitable for the duration of peak vacation durations, this sort of as throughout the summer time and vacation seasons. The more compact-potential A-310-300 created 12 months-round operation doable for quite a few carriers like Austrian, which have been in any other case not able to sustain enough load components to fill larger sized plane, and was as a result suitable for extensive, slender routes, like these involving Lyon and New York (Air France), Frankfurt and Newark (Lufthansa), Istanbul and New York (THY), and New York and Stockholm (Pan Am).

The determination to reinstate intercontinental services, scheduled for the spring of 1989, was officially made two several years earlier, on June 25, and was envisioned as getting operated by two Pratt and Whitney-powered A-310-300s that would provide the Vienna-New York and Vienna-Moscow-Tokyo routes, the latter in cooperation with Aeroflot and ANA All-Nippon Airways. Both of those seriously depended on the transit passenger for profitability. On the New York route, for illustration, a 66-percent, break-even load factor was desired in the course of the to start with yr of procedure, which was envisioned as consisting of US-originating, Austria-originating, and connecting passengers, but both equally relied on the large-produce recurrent company traveler. Austrian Airlines provided a initial class cabin on its A-310-300s for the very first time in its background.

Deliveries of the airline’s first widebody, twin-aisle aircraft, respectively registered and named OE-LAA “New York” and OE-LAB “Tokyo,” occurred in December of 1988 and January of 1989.

Returning to the US transatlantic market place two months later on, on Easter Sunday March 26, Austrian Airlines’ twin-engine Airbus, sporting a pink-white-purple livery and accommodating 12 initial course, 37 business enterprise class, and 123 economy course passengers, taxied to the Intercontinental Arrivals Constructing (IAB) amidst heat spring weather conditions.

Functioning as Flight OS 502 and piloted by Captain Braeuer and Initially Officer Kutzenberger, the aircraft was tug-maneuvered away from the gate at 1900 after a quick transform-close to with 121 travellers, who were being served by 9 cabin attendants, and took off into the deep purple dusk at a 153,603-kilo gross weight, of which 40,300 consisted of gas for the Atlantic crossing. The flight had been 18 several years in the earning.

Airport, reservations, income, and advertising and marketing workers subsequently gathered in the Icelandair Saga Lounge employed by its business enterprise course passengers for a celebratory consume and a group photograph.

The Tokyo route adopted in the summer season and the 4 A-310s, registered OE-LAA, -LAB, -LAC, and -LAD, served as Austrian’s intercontinental widebody sort, working to numerous US, African, and Considerably Japanese places in a ultimate two-class configuration.

By the summertime of 1989, Austrian Airlines’ route program encompassed 54 metropolitan areas in 36 US, European, North African, Middle Jap, and Japanese international locations with an unduplicated route size of 100,358 kilometers, and ended up served by 26 Fokker F.50, McDonnell-Douglas MD-81/82/83/87, and Airbus A-310-300 plane, which carried an ordinary 4-calendar year age. Austrian Airlines described these types as follows.

Airbus A-310-300: A long-assortment, medium-capability, extensive-overall body, twin-aisle, twin-motor jet airliner–Austrian Airlines’ intercontinental jet. Austrian Airways dubbed it an “intercontinental European.”

McDonnell-Douglas MD-81: A medium-array, medium-ability, narrow-body, single-aisle, twin-engine jet airliner–Austrian Airline’s European, North African, and Middle Jap workhorse. Austrian Airlines described it as a “universal medium-haul airliner and the mainstay of its fleet.”

McDonnell-Douglas MD-82: The provider requested this variant “for distinctive-duty scheduled and charter services.”

McDonnell-Douglas MD-87: The brief-fuselage, reduced-potential edition was “tailor-built to its needs in potential and vary.”

Fokker F.50: A quick- and regional-vary, low-ability, narrow-entire body, single-aisle, twin-motor turboprop airliner operated by its Austrian Air Solutions subsidiary on domestic and decide on long, skinny global routes. Austrian Airways regarded it “a propjet professional in metropolis-hopping.”

In addition to Austrian Air Providers, Austrian Airways owned 80 % of Austrian Air Transportation (AAT), which operated around the world constitution and inclusive tour (IT) flights with both of those Austrian Airways and Austrian Air Solutions plane, carrying 506,000 passengers in 1988. It also managed a close advertising and marketing agreement with Tyrolean Airways, which operated companies from Innsbruck with 37-passenger de Havilland of Canada DHC-8-100s and 50-passenger DHC-7-100s at the time.

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