Hot on the tail of its new scheduled services to Shanghai and Singapore in 2004, the Austrian Airlines Group will be continuing the successful expansion of its long-haul traffic in 2005. From 1 May 2005 onwards, non-stop services between Vienna and the Indian business centre of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) will be launched five times a week. The new route will be served by a long-haul Boeing B767 jet with 36 Business Class and 209 Economy Class seats.Chief Executive Officer Vagn Soerensen made the following comment on the dynamic expansion of the Austrian Airlines Group’s long-haul services: ‘Our daily flights to the Indian capital of Delhi (service launched in October 1997) have demonstrated an extremely strong passenger load factor at over 80 %, and we expect similarly high levels of demand for our new programme to Mumbai. With five non-stop flights every week, we are offering the international business passenger and tourist traveller a comfortable product. If the levels of demand do justify such a move, we expect to be able to expand our service to Mumbai to one flight a day from the 2005/2006 winter flight schedule onwards.’
Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Josef E. Burger added, ‘Similarly to our range of flights to and from Delhi, we shall be integrating our flights to Mumbai into our connections into Western and Eastern Europe via Vienna, and into our transfer system across the North Atlantic to the USA. In addition to this, we shall be working with Austrian tourist industry advertisers to continue increasing the incoming tourist traffic from India to Austria and building on this sector as a future source of value creation.’
Mumbai is the capital of the federal state of Maharashtra on the west coast of India. With a population of approximately 16 million people, it is the country’s second-largest city, being smaller than Kolkata and larger than the national capital, Delhi. As the engine of the booming Indian economy, the city is also the leading financial centre and home to the largest and most important stock exchange on the sub-continent.
Mumbai is the centre of India’s cotton trade and textile industry, its film industry (‘Bollywood’), the printing and publishing trade, shipbuilding and repair, the country’s chemical sector, engineering and the metalworking industry. Mumbai - often referred to by the British as the ‘Gateway to India’ - is a great starting-point for tourists wishing to visit numerous points of interest across Western and Central India. The incoming potential of Indian tourists travelling abroad is currently estimated at around 50 million people. Last year, approximately 39,000 Indians visited Austria, a figure which continues to rise rapidly.