Austrian Airlines AG to service Cape Town from 2018 again

Austrian Airlines recently bought a new Boeing 777 and will expand its flight schedules to Cape Town and Tokyo from 2018 according to the management.

After a brief stopover, the Austrian Airlines AG is back in Cape Town and Tokyo. From May 15, 2018, they will return with a daily timetable to Tokyo, except Thursday and Saturday.

“The conditions in Japan have improved, the currency has risen by almost 20 percent against the euro,” argues Andreas Otto, Chief Commercial Officer of Austrian Airlines. Tokyo is not only a business traveler, but also a tourist destination. Nevertheless, the euphoria of the AUA managers has for the time being boundaries. The Tokyo connection, which was set up in September 2016, with which the airline last burnt millions, is initially only flown in the summer schedule. From autumn 2018 onwards, the course makers will set off for the winter destination of Cape Town – twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays), starting on 27 October 2018.

Growth at Austrian Airlines

The new connections only made possible with an additional Boeing 777, which was approved by the  AUA-mother Lufthansa last week. There is space for about 300 passengers in this large-scale aircraft. Approximately 150 additional employees are required for operation, which are mainly recruited from the Group’s regional fleets. There will be no problems with the filling of the positions, says Otto. After all, the long-haul routes are traditionally popular among employees.

The new machine will enable AUA to expand its long-haul range by ten percent, thus continuing to grow well above the market. Austrian Airlines also tookover five Airbus A320s from Air Berlin including its Crew. Otto: “We currently have growth figures as AUA has not seen for a long time.

Wage Dispute

Nevertheless, not all is vanity. Between staff and management is once again a tariff conflict. A company meeting at the end of June led to 29 flight cancellations and the company “lost about half a million euros” according to Otto. He now hopes that “professional bargaining, which will not be carried out on the backs of customers and employees”. Otto: “We do not value a heated, ritualized showdown.” Vienna can not be compared with locations like Zurich or Frankfurt. From Vienna Airport, mainly tourists are leaving, in the two other cities the proportion of business customers is significantly higher – and thus also the margins for the airline. The AUA traditionally flies from June to September. “With the money we have to go through the whole year.” The target of 100 million euros in profit for the year as a whole is still far off, but the summer is running well, according to Otto.


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