Austria’s national carrier is the eponymous Austrian Airlines, with its central offices in Vienna, and its main hub at Vienna’s international airport, also known as Wien Schwechat. The Vienna airport is known throughout the industry for its singular ability to move passengers quickly and conveniently to connecting flights, almost always in 30 minutes or less. Passengers waiting for flights to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and beyond, can find just enough time to enjoy the airports boutiques, coffee shops, cafes, and lounges to make the wait seem even shorter.
Austria’s flagship carrier was founded in’57. Focusing on Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, Austrian Airlines also routes some passengers on flights run by its subsidiary, Tyrolean. Austrian Airlines is staffed by over 8,500 workers, and is a member of both the Austrian Airlines Group and the Star Alliance, the largest airline alliance on the planet with 24 different brands. Most Austrian Airlines flights operate on jets built by Boeing and Airbus.
The frequent flyer program for Austrian Airlines customers is known as Miles & More. Over 15 million people earn Miles & More on Austrian Airlines and 12 other European carriers, and use their miles on these carrier as well as the 24 carriers in the Star Alliance.
Austrian Airlines is a leader in airline safety, beginning with armed monitoring of its flights in’81. At least two undercover sky marshals are on each Austrian Airlines flight. Austrian Airlines staff, especially its pilots and flight attendants, receives frequent safety training with a special focus on in flight safety and technology.
Much as the Vienna airport offers singular efficiency in transferring passengers between flights in 30 minutes or less, Austrian Airlines offers outstanding customer service. Completely revamping its customer service program in 2006, Austrian Airlines added dozens of new features, ranging from new passenger lounges to free snack service in economy to all-inclusive customer care for passengers on the ground. Calling their new program a success, Austrian Airlines proudly points to multiple industry surveys giving them top rankings in customer service and quality.
In February 2009, the airline appointed Dr. Andreas Bierwirth and Dr. Peter chief co-executives, with equal management rights. Austrian’s board of directors anticipates this new and unique management team will boost the airlines’ bottom line despite declining passenger numbers. In 2008, the airline carried 10.7 million passengers, down from 2007, and further loss of traffic is expected in 2009. Emphasizing its well-known strengths, Austrian Airlines is maintaining its image as the carrier of choice for flights from Europe to the Middle East, adding four flights each week to Jordan’s capital, Amman.