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Austrian reduces winter capacities on routes into USA

14th July 2008 Print
Against the background of the current crisis in the aviation industry, high kerosene prices and reduced demand, the Austrian Airlines Group is evaluating a series of measures designed to optimise its own production. Now, in a first step, the company will be carrying out selective capacity adjustments in 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.

As the situation stands at present, overall production will be reduced by 5% this coming winter compared to the original plan, with three fewer aircraft being used in 2009. The necessary personnel adjustments can be achieved through fluctuation and by putting a stop on new appointments. Other measures will be implemented depending on the ongoing development of the aviation crisis.

Austrian Chief Executive Officer Alfred Ötsch made the following comment: “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.”

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.

Short- and medium-haul
Flights to London City Airport will be removed from the schedule from 18 August. Due first and foremost to the banking crisis and the slots assigned to the company, which could not be optimised with customer requirements, the demand trend had remained below expectations. The flight schedule to London Heathrow, with up to five flights a day, remains unchanged and offers attractive connections between Vienna and London for Austrian passengers. As a further measure, individual frequency reductions will be carried out in the winter season, primarily in Western Europe.

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