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Significant Capacity Reductions and Fuel Surcharge Increases at Austrian Airlines

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Friday, 11 July 2008

The Austrian Airlines Group is to carry out selective capacity adjustments over the coming months. The London City Airport and Chicago destinations will both be taken out of the schedule (from 18 August and the winter schedule respectively), while other targeted reductions will be made in Europe over the winter.

Overall production will be reduced by 5% this coming winter compared to the original plan, with three fewer aircraft being used in 2009. The airline has said that necessary personnel adjustments can be achieved through fluctuation and by putting a stop on new appointments, while other measures would be implemented depending on the ongoing development of the aviation crisis.

Austrian Chief Executive Officer Alfred tsch said, With this step, we are reacting selectively to the tense situation in the industry. On North Atlantic routes, which have come under particularly sharp pressure due to the weak rate of the dollar and collapse in economic activity, we will be reducing our capacities by a total of 21% this winter. Seasonal frequency reductions in various markets in Western Europe will complement our package of measures, without affecting our attractive route network in the growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East, which are a fundamental strength and competitive advantage. Our new Austrian Premium Service will also begin as planned on 15 July.

On Austrian's long-haul routes, Chicago will no longer be served from the beginning of the winter schedule. The flight schedule to Mumbai will be reduced from seven to five flights a week in the winter season. From mid-January 2009 until the end of the winter season, the number of flights to New York will be reduced from six to five a week, and to Washington from seven to six. The overall result of these changes is a significant reduction of 21% in production (measured in available seat kilometres or ASK). The aircraft capacities freed up by the changes will be used to bring forward technical stand times and modifications over the winter. 

Flights to London City Airport will be removed from the schedule from 18 August. As a further measure, individual frequency reductions are expected to be carried out in the winter season, primarily in Western Europe.

In addition, the Austrian Airlines Group is increasing its fuel surcharge for short- and medium-haul flights from the current level of EUR 24 to EUR 27. Fuel surcharges on long-haul routes are also to increase, from EUR 92 to EUR 98. These new charges apply to all tickets for scheduled flights operated by the Austrian Airlines Group sold or issued from 15 July 2008 onwards..

Recently Cathay Pacific, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Continental Airlines, American Airlines and Air Canada have announced significant reductions to their international operations.

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