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Photo: Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines fights low-cost competition

CCO Andreas Otto has a temporary fix – “low fares and reliability instead of low prices and trouble” – plus more VIE-CPH flights.

Austrian Airlines is fighting back against its new competitors at Vienna Airport such as the low-cost carriers Laudamotion, IAG’s Level and Wizz Air.

Starting in April, Austria’s red-white-red flag carrier will strengthen its European route network and increase frequencies to Germany, namely to Berlin, Dusseldorf and Hamburg.

This will be followed in May by increases in the number of flights operated to Paris and Copenhagen.

Austrian says it will add four weekly flights to Copenhagen to push up the weekly total to 31. The number of flights to Paris, meanwhile, will rise by 12 to reach a total of 39 frequencies per week.

Hamburg will be served 39 times each week, comprising 11 additional flights, and two more weekly flights will be operated to both Berlin and Dusseldorf to raise the total to 56 and 40 flights, respectively, each week.

Fare drop
The frequency increases will be complemented by “a sharp drop in air fares”, Austrian Airlines claims, though this appears to be temporary.

One-way flights to these and several other European destinations can be booked starting at €39 from now until March 24. Usually one-way tickets cost double the amount.

The destinations included in the offer are Berlin, Milan, Paris, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Kiev, Nice and Lyon, whereas flights to Italy will run at €59 or more. Flights up until December 16, 2019 can be booked, but only a limited number of tickets are set at these prices.

“Customers will be pleased, our competitors probably less so,” says Andreas Otto, member of the management board and CCO of Austrian Airlines.

“We are offering a low fare and reliability instead of a low fare and programmed trouble,” he added, referring to frequent changes in the flight schedules on the part of the new competitors.

“We are increasingly receiving reports by customers who would prefer to fly with us,” Otto alleges.

Austrian Airlines attracted an additional 60,000 passengers in January alone, a rise of 7% year-on-year. All in all, it transported one million more passengers in 2018 than in the previous year, up 8%.

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