Austrian Airlines is to launch a brand new Business Class and in-flight internet facility on its nine weekly flights between Australia and Vienna, as part of a worldwide programme to increase its presence in the business travel market.From late July 2006, Star Alliance-member Austrian will progressively introduce a new 49-seat Business Class on its Boeing 777 aircraft which operate six times weekly from Sydney, and three times weekly from Melbourne. Completion is due by September 2006.
The airline also will be one of the first in this market to introduce Connexion by Boeing, an advanced wireless internet solution which enables passengers throughout the aircraft to use their own laptops on line, throughout the flight.
Austrian’s General Manager Australia and New Zealand, Mr Herbert Koschier, said the Australia-Asia-Vienna routes would be the first in the carrier’s network to experience the new Business Class, and the exciting new Connexion by Boeing service.
“This overhaul of our product is a major step forward for Austrian Airlines, as we reposition ourselves to become the business airline of choice for travel to Europe,” said Mr Koschier.
“We have chosen to launch our new products on the Sydney - Kuala Lumpur - Vienna and Melbourne - Singapore - Vienna routes, as these are the longest in our network, and will gain great benefit from the improvements.”
The new Austrian Business Class will be configured in a 2 x 3 x 2 seat layout, with 1.5 metres of space (60 inches) between seat rows, and at a fully reclined position the angle will be just 8 degrees, enabling passengers to stretch out and sleep.
To maximise the bed width, the armrests on the new seats will lower when in full recline position.
There is also a massage function in the seat, a swiveling 10.4 inch video screen, and a laptop computer plug for passengers wanting to recharge their computers in flight.
Personal video screens are also provided throughout the Boeing 777s, offering a selection of up to 18 current hit movies.
A new style of international catering will be introduced, reflecting delicacies from Indo-Chinese specialties to trendy Austrian fare, and Business Class passengers will receive a special “comfort kit”, with contents including a hand massage ball, refreshing roll-on aroma and soft cotton socks.
As part of its service upgrade, Austrian will intensify its marketing of Vienna as the logical gateway to Europe.
“Vienna is in the centre of Europe, and our airline offers convenient onward services to all major points in Western and Eastern Europe, and through the CIS nations,” said Mr Koschier.
Austrian Airlines flies from Sydney to Vienna, via Kuala Lumpur, every day except Tuesday, and from Melbourne to Vienna, via Singapore, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.