Austrian Airlines (Österreichische Luftverkehrs AG) is the flag carrier airline of Austria, with its headquarters in Vienna. Its main base is Vienna International Airport (VIE). In 2006 Austrian had 10 million passengers.
The airline was founded on 30 September 1957, making its maiden flight on 18 March 1958 when a Vickers Viscount 779 took off from Vienna for London, England. Austrian Airlines was formed through the merger of Air Austria and Austrian Airways. The airline's transatlantic services began on 1 April 1969 with a Vienna to Brussels and New York service in co-operation with Sabena.
Austrian Airbus A320 in the current coloursAustrian Airlines is owned by ÖIAG (39.7%), floating stock (43.5%), Austrian institutional investors (10.3%) and Air France (1.5%). It also wholly owns subsidiary airlines, Austrian Arrows and Lauda Air and has a 62% share in Slovak Airlines. 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 had 5,163 employees at January 2005.
Austrian Airlines destinations
In 2006 Austrian dominates the market for flights from/to Central- and Eastern Europe. Austrian's longest routes are from Vienna to Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, via Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, respectively, which will end on March 25, 2007.
Due to Airbus fleet cuts in 2006 Austrian will suspend some of its long-haul flights. Scheduled services to Shanghai will end from 7 January 2007, flights to Phuket, Mauritius and Colombo and Malé will end from April 2007 and those to Kathmandu in May 2007. Routes to Karachi and Chennai, which had been under evaluation, will not now be opened.