On the strength of the recently-granted traffic rights to the Russian capital, Austrian Airlines will be introducing another daily Vienna-Moscow-Vienna service from the beginning of June onwards. As of 5 June 2006, an extra morning departure will operate from Monday to Thursday. Departure from Vienna is at 08.10 every Monday. On Tuesday and Thursday, an Austrian Airbus A319 will take off at 07.35, and at 08.40 on Wednesdays. Daily Austrian departures will continue to operate at 10.45 and 19.45. Together with Austrian’s codeshare flights with Aeroflot, this will now mean up to five flights a day operating between the Austrian and Russian capital cities from June onwards, providing the perfect connections - spread throughout the day for both business travellers and tourist traffic.
Commenting on the new Austrian destination of Ekaterinburg at an international press conference, Austrian’s Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Josef E. Burger noted: ‘For the Austrian Airlines Group, the Russian Federation represents a dynamically growing source and target market in Eastern Europe, with a high share of transfer passengers. In 2005, we carried around 196,000 passengers on our routes to and from Russia. This represents an above-average rate of growth of 60% compared to 2003, when the Focus East initiative was launched. In total, we have now carried almost half-a-million extra passengers in our Focus East area. Russia has a share of around 11% of our Eastern European potential.’
The Austrian Airlines Group incorporated direct scheduled flights to Ekaterinburg (formerly Sverdlovsk) into its route network on 26 April 2006. The city in the Urals, whose hinterland is home to some 5 million people, lies on the border between Europe and Asia. It is Russia’s third-largest city, and a rapidly-growing economic centre with enormous investment potential. Departure from Vienna on Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be at 20.00, with arrival in Ekaterinburg (which has a time difference of four hours from Vienna!) at 04.40 in the morning the next day.
The return flight will take off from Ekaterinburg every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 05.40, arriving in Vienna, after a flight time lasting 4 hours and 40 minutes, at 06.20 local time.
The Austrian Airlines Group will operate services to a total of five cities in Russia in its 2006 summer schedule. In addition to Moscow and Ekaterinburg, the Austrian Airlines Group’s scheduled route programme takes in St. Petersburg, as well as Rostov am Don and Krasnodar in the south of the country.