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Austrian adds Riyadh & Jeddah to Middle East network

13th March 2008 Print
From August 2008 Austrian will introduce services to Riyadh and Jeddah, both services will feature the new Austrian Premium Service concept including sleeper seats in Business Class.

Austrian will introduce four weekly flights to Jeddah from 18 August 2008 and three weekly services to Riyadh from 19 August 2008. These new routes are in addition to eight existing destinations bringing Austrians Middle East network to ten cities within the region. The expansion is a development of Austrians successful Focus East network strategy.

Due to the ideal geographic location of Vienna, Austrian can serve longer distance destinations with medium-haul aircraft offering greater cost competiveness to passengers.

The new destinations will be among the first to offer travellers the experience of the new Premium Service product in Business Class: Recaro Business Sleeper Seats provide 116cm of legroom, optimum seat incline, electronically adjustable back and foot rests and an integrated massage function. Other features include an integrated PC power point, personal privacy screen and award winning catering by DO & CO.

Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia and the largest city in the country. Jeddah is Saudi Arabia’s most important export point for oil and related products.

Austrians Middle East network includes the following destinations in addition to the new services to Riyadh and Jeddah: Dubai – daily, Tripoli – 5 times a week; Tehran – 5 flights a week; Erbil – 3 flights a week from April 2008, increasing to 4 a week from June 2008; Amman – 4 flights a week; Damascus – 9 flights a week; Cairo – up to 2 flights a day; Istanbul – twice daily; Ankara – daily and Tel Aviv – up to 3 flights a day. Some flights are codeshared.

Alfred Ötsch, Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Airlines, made the following statement regarding the new expansion: “While industry experts are currently basing their forecast growth predictions in worldwide flight demand of approximately 4.8%, the rate of growth in the Middle East is expected to be approximately at 7%.

“In the capital Riyadh and the major port city Jeddah, we are integrating two hugely important cities in Saudi Arabia into our route network. By doing so, we are also increasing the volume of transfer traffic that will pass through our Vienna hub, and offering the best possible connections to Central and Eastern Europe – a region becoming increasingly important for investments from the Middle East.

“Thanks to the low cost of using medium-haul aircraft, we are improving our competitiveness. At the same time, however, we are also offering not only business passengers but also the demanding tourist sector something very special in terms of comfort, privacy and exclusivity with our Premium Service Jet. This will enable us to reach another milestone in our quality offensive.”

Network expansion under the Focus East strategy is at the heart of Austrians improving and strengthening financial position with the Austrian Airlines Group showing positive financial results in 2007.