Austrian Airlines’ Return to the Transatlantic Marketplace


Working a modern day, gas-productive fleet about an increasing route program and carrying just about 1.5 million travellers in 1986, Austrian at the time again contemplated intercontinental support, now equally to New York in the west and to Tokyo in the east, and toward this conclusion transformed its prior purchase for two medium-range Airbus Industrie A-310-200s to the very long-range A-310-300 edition on June 25, 1986. The original memorandum of knowledge for the A-310-200s experienced been signed as much back as 1979 or a 10 years before the services would in fact get off the floor. 3 factors could be cited as to why the time might have been ripe for the relaunching of this support:

To start with, in the 15-calendar year interval due to the fact its 1st and only intercontinental services was discontinued, its residence current market experienced considerably developed, as demonstrated by the quite a few will increase in nonstop US-Vienna assistance, 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 able to give numerous much more connecting choices with each Austrian and other carriers to just about anywhere in the environment. For the reason that of the country’s proximity to these destinations, Austrian, specifically, maintained just one of the most comprehensive East European route networks. Additional to the geographical site was the fact that its compact Schwechat hub was ready to facilitate connections in as couple as 25 minutes and theoretically enabled a passenger to fly from New York to any of the East European countries with a stop in Vienna in less time than a afterwards departing nonstop would have with a person of the East European flag carriers, these types of as Aeroflot, CSA, Whole lot, or Tarom. As a final result, Austrian was regarded as “the western airline to Japanese Europe” and “the hyperlink concerning the west and east.” Glasnost experienced also delivered the impetus for unparalleled interest in East European vacation at this time and was noticed as selling higher transatlantic load elements to feed East European flights. Its route process in standard also provided great connections to West European, North African, and Middle Japanese destinations.

Ultimately, the appropriately sized, lengthy-selection aircraft that could aid worthwhile, calendar year-spherical functions had lastly been created. Even the then-smallest extended-assortment widebody airliners, these types of as the DC-10-30 and the L-1011-500, would only have been worthwhile in the course of peak journey periods, this kind of as through the summer time and holiday seasons. The scaled-down-capability A-310-300 made yr-round operation attainable for quite a few carriers like Austrian, which ended up usually not able to sustain adequate load variables to fill greater plane, and was as a result ideal for long, slim routes, like these among 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 formally designed two a long time previously, on June 25, and was envisioned as becoming operated by two Pratt and Whitney-run 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 closely depended on the transit passenger for profitability. On the New York route, for case in point, a 66-per cent, crack-even load component was essential during the first yr of procedure, which was envisioned as consisting of US-originating, Austria-originating, and connecting passengers, but both equally relied on the significant-yield repeated organization traveler. Austrian Airlines provided a to start with course cabin on its A-310-300s for the first time in its historical past.

Deliveries of the airline’s to start with widebody, twin-aisle plane, respectively registered and named OE-LAA “New York” and OE-LAB “Tokyo,” transpired in December of 1988 and January of 1989.

Returning to the US transatlantic market two months later on, on Easter Sunday March 26, Austrian Airlines’ twin-engine Airbus, sporting a crimson-white-purple livery and accommodating 12 first course, 37 business course, and 123 economic system class travellers, taxied to the Global Arrivals Making (IAB) amidst warm spring weather.

Functioning as Flight OS 502 and piloted by Captain Braeuer and To start with Officer Kutzenberger, the aircraft was tug-maneuvered absent from the gate at 1900 right after a transient turn-all over with 121 travellers, who ended up served by nine cabin attendants, and took off into the deep purple dusk at a 153,603-kilo gross pounds, of which 40,300 consisted of gasoline for the Atlantic crossing. The flight had been 18 a long time in the earning.

Airport, reservations, profits, and internet marketing employees subsequently collected in the Icelandair Saga Lounge utilised by its enterprise class passengers for a celebratory consume and a group photograph.

The Tokyo route adopted in the summer time and the four A-310s, registered OE-LAA, -LAB, -LAC, and -LAD, served as Austrian’s intercontinental widebody form, running to many US, African, and Far Eastern places in a closing two-class configuration.

By the summer of 1989, Austrian Airlines’ route system encompassed 54 cities in 36 US, European, North African, Middle Eastern, and Japanese countries with an unduplicated route size of 100,358 kilometers, and had been served by 26 Fokker F.50, McDonnell-Douglas MD-81/82/83/87, and Airbus A-310-300 aircraft, which carried an ordinary four-year age. Austrian Airways described these styles as follows.

Airbus A-310-300: A prolonged-array, medium-potential, large-human body, twin-aisle, twin-engine jet airliner–Austrian Airlines’ intercontinental jet. Austrian Airways dubbed it an “intercontinental European.”

McDonnell-Douglas MD-81: A medium-variety, medium-ability, slim-system, single-aisle, twin-motor jet airliner–Austrian Airline’s European, North African, and Center Jap workhorse. Austrian Airways explained it as a “universal medium-haul airliner and the mainstay of its fleet.”

McDonnell-Douglas MD-82: The carrier purchased this variant “for distinctive-duty scheduled and charter providers.”

McDonnell-Douglas MD-87: The small-fuselage, reduced-ability version was “tailor-built to its needs in potential and array.”

Fokker F.50: A shorter- and regional-range, very low-ability, narrow-physique, solitary-aisle, twin-engine turboprop airliner operated by its Austrian Air Services subsidiary on domestic and pick out lengthy, skinny global routes. Austrian Airlines viewed as it “a propjet professional in metropolis-hopping.”

In addition to Austrian Air Providers, Austrian Airlines owned 80 p.c of Austrian Air Transportation (AAT), which operated around the globe charter and inclusive tour (IT) flights with both equally Austrian Airways and Austrian Air Expert services plane, carrying 506,000 travellers in 1988. It also preserved a near marketing agreement with Tyrolean Airways, which operated products and services 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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