Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines
Austrian Airlines AG
Founded 1957
Hubs Vienna International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Miles & More
Airport lounge Senator Lounge, Business Class Lounge
Alliance Star Alliance
Subsidiaries Lauda Air
Tyrolean Airways
Fleet size 53 (+2 orders) (excluding subsidaries)
Destinations 117 (including subsidiaries)
Parent company Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Headquarters Vienna Airport
Schwechat, Austria
Jurisdiction : Vienna[1]
Key people Jaan Albrecht (CEO)
Austrian Airlines headquarters in Office Park 2 in Schwechat

Austrian Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Austria, headquartered in Office Park 2 on the grounds of Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Wien-Umgebung and a subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.[2][3][4] Together with regional subsidiary Tyrolean Airways (Austrian Arrows) and charter arm Lauda Air, it operates scheduled services to over 130 destinations. Its hub is Vienna International Airport, with a focus city at Innsbruck Airport.[5] It is a member of the Star Alliance.



The airline was founded on 30 September 1957, making its maiden flight on 31 March 1958 when a Vickers Viscount 779 took off from Vienna for London, England via Zurich. Austrian Airlines was formed through the merger of Air Austria and Austrian Airways. It launched domestic services on 1 May 1963. The airline's transatlantic services began on 1 April 1969 with a Vienna to Brussels and New York service in co-operation with Sabena.

At one time Austrian had its head office in Vienna.[6]

Austrian Airlines Boeing 767-300 with Star Alliance livery seen at Beijing Capital International Airport (2008)

Austrian became a member of the Star Alliance in 2000. That year, Austrian acquired Lauda Air, an airline whose operations included long haul flights, and acquired Rheintalflug on 15 February 2001. Its name was shortened to Austrian in September 2003 when it rebranded its three constituent carriers.[5] On 1 October 2004 the Flight Operations Departments of Austrian and Lauda Air were merged into a single unit, leaving Lauda Air as a brand name only for charter flights. It has 6.394 employees[5]

In November 2008 Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa announced that Lufthansa intended to acquire ÖIAG's stake and the 2% held by Austrian Airlines, giving Lufthansa a controlling stake in Austrian Airlines.[7][8] With approval from the European Commission, Lufthansa purchased Austrian Airlines in September 2009.[9]

Since the 4th of February 2010 the Austrian Airlines AG shares are suspended from the Vienna stock exchange.[10]

Corporate Design

The colour scheme of Austrian Airlines was always held in red-white-red. The aeroplanes from the 1950s to 80s were silver at the bottom of the body, the upper part was white with the Austrian Airlines arrow and the writing "Austrian Airlines" (until 1972, 1995–2003) or "Austrian" (1972–1995, from 2003 onwards). Austrian Airlines was always called the "friendly-Airline".

The typical Austrian Airlines arrow ("Austrian Chevron") had three versions. 1960 still looking like the body plan of a paper aeroplane, it got its now known shape in 1972. With the rebranding taking place in 1995, the "Chevron" was placed on the red-white-red tail-fin. But with the new Corporate Design since 2003, the "Chevron" form had a "renaissance": the old shape was used again, just this time in a more modern style and a drop shadow placed underneath.

Airbus A321-100 landing at London Heathrow

Many special colour schemes and surface varnishes have been used throughout the decades. Since joining the Star Alliance, a few aeroplanes already have been coated with Star Alliance motifs on them. For the Mozartyear 2006, an Airbus A320 was coated with a Mozart-Design, also an Airbus A340-300 was coated with an homage to the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra and a Boeing 737-600 was coated in a glacier-look for a Tyrol advertisement. Right now three designs have been put on aeroplanes regarding the Euro 2008, and an Airbus A320 in a retro-livery on the occasion of the 50 year celebration of the company.


Airbus A320 landing at London Heathrow (2007)

A major focus in the Austrian route network is Eastern Europe and the Middle East, much of which is operated by subsidiary Tyrolean.

In 2006, in a move to save about 40 million euros per year, Austrian decided to eliminate its A330 and A340 fleet, which consisted of four Airbus A330-200 (OE-LAO, OE-LAN, OE-LAM, OE-LAP), two Airbus A340-200 (OE-LAH and OE-LAG) and 2 Airbus A340-300 (OE-LAL and OE-LAK). Some of these aircraft were sold to TAP Portugal, Swiss and the French Air Force. As a result of having less long haul capacity, Austrian suspended some of its long-haul flights to East Asia and Australia. Flights to Shanghai ended in January 2007 while flights to Phuket, Mauritius and Colombo and Malé ended in April 2007 and those to Kathmandu ended in May 2007.[11]

March 2007 also saw the termination of the airline's longest flights, the Vienna-Singapore-Melbourne and Vienna-Kuala Lumpur-Sydney routes, ending operations on the Kangaroo Route. This was Melbourne's last European-based airline connecting the city with direct flights to Europe.

Austrian was one of the few airlines[12] to fly into post-war Iraq when it began flights to Erbil in December 2006.[13] However, the flights were discontinued the following year. Flights to Erbil were resumed on 2 April 2008.[14] Austrian Airlines fly from Vienna to Mumbai from November 2010 and will resume flights to Baghdad on 8 June 2011.

Codeshare agreements

Austrian Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines, * indicates as Star Alliance:

Special security

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


Austrian Airline Boeing 737-800.

As of March 2011, the Austrian Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 10.6 years:[16]

Austrian Airlines Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Airbus A319 8
Airbus A320-200 12 2
one aircraft painted in retro livery
Airbus A321-100
Airbus A321-200
Boeing 737-600 3
Boeing 737-700 3
Boeing 737-800 8
one aircraft painted in Star Alliance livery.
Boeing 767-300ER 4
Boeing 777-200ER 4
Total 53 2

*Note: Business and Economy on the A319, A320, A321 can vary depending on demand [17]

Fleet history

Over the years, Austrian Airlines operated the following aircraft types:[18]

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

Austrian Airlines fleet images

Incidents and accidents

The following is a list of incidents and accidents involving Austrian Airlines mainline aircraft. It excludes occurrences with subsidiaries, such as Tyrolean Airways or Austrian Air Services.

  • On 26 September 1960 at 21:40 local time, an Austrian Airlines Vickers Viscount (registered OE-LAF) crashed during approach of Sheremetyevo International Airport, killing 26 of the 31 passengers on board, as well as five of the six crew members. The aircraft had been operating Flight 901 from Vienna to Moscow with an intermediate stop at Warsaw. As a probable cause for this to date only fatal accident for the airline, a malfunction in an altimeter was given.[19]
  • On 21 February 1970, an bomb explosion occurred in the cargo hold of an Austrian Airlines Sud Aviation Caravelle (registered OE-LCU) during a flight from Frankfurt to Vienna with 33 passengers and five crew on board, leading to a hole in the fuselage. The pilots managed to safely return the aircraft to Frankfurt Airport.[20] On the same day, another bomb had been planted on Swissair Flight 330, causing this airliner to crash, killing 47 people. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed the responsibility for both assaults.[21]
  • On 7 January 1997, Austrian Airlines Flight 104 from Berlin to Vienna was hijacked by a Bosnian male who had forced his way into the cockpit armed with a knife (which was of a size small enough not to be banned from airplanes under then valid regulations). The pilots obeyed the perpetrator's demands to return to Berlin, so that he could negotiate with the local authorities over the renewal of his visa. Back at Berlin Tegel Airport, the McDonnell Douglas MD-87 was stormed by special police forces, and the hijacker was overpowered.[22]
  • On 5 January 2004 at 08:17 local time, an Austrian Airlines Fokker 70 (registred OE-LFO) crash-landed on a snow covered field near Munich International Airport. The aircraft had been operating Flight 111 from Vienna to Munich with 28 passengers and four crew on board, when its engines failed during landing descent due to icing. The pilots brought the aircraft down on the field; there were no reported injuries.[23][24]


  1. ^ "Firmensitz von Austrian Airlines ist korrekt" APA-OTS, Retrieved on 25 September 2009
  2. ^ "Contact." Austrian Airlines Group. Retrieved on 8 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Offices in Austria" Austrian Airlines, Retrieved on 26 May 2009
  4. ^ "Information about the city plan" City of Schwechat, Retrieved on 5 September 2009
  5. ^ a b c "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 81. 27 March 2007. 
  6. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 29 March 1986. 57. "Fontanastrasse 1, A-1107 Vienna, Austria"
  7. ^ Lufthansa kauft Austrian Airlines Welt Online, 13 November 2008
  8. ^ Austrian Airlines soll an Lufthansa verkauft werden, 13 November 2008
  9. ^ Green Light for Merger of Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa Breaking Travel News, 28 August 2009
  10. ^ BRIEF-Austrian Airlines shares suspended - Vienna bourse AFX News, 4 February 2010
  11. ^ Airliner World January 2007
  12. ^ "Where Iraq Works". Time. 5 April 2007.,9171,1606880,00.html?iid=chix-sphere. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  13. ^ Austrian Airlines starts scheduled flights to Iraq
  14. ^ Austrian Airlines resumes service to Erbil, Iraq
  15. ^
  16. ^ Austrian Airlines fleet list at
  17. ^ Austrian Airlines Fleet configurations
  18. ^ Austrian Airlines historic fleet list at Retrieved 2010-05-29.
  19. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  20. ^ 1970 Austrian Airlines bombing at the Aviation Safety Network
  21. ^ News article on the two airliner bombings on 21 February 1970.
  22. ^ Austrian Airlines 1997 hijacking at the Aviation Safety Network
  23. ^ Accident Database: Accident Synopsis 01052004
  24. ^ Austrian Airlines 2004 crash landing at the Aviation Safety Network

External links

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