Austrian Airlines CEO, Alfred ?-tsch has outlined the companies strategy in Eastern Europe, one if its strongest performing markets.The Austrian Airlines Group’s consistently developed and expanded leadership of the market for aviation traffic into and out of Eastern Europe is based on a range of different strategies, the combined effect of which has enabled the company to achieve its number one position. Austrian already provides 566 connections every week to 45 destinations across Central and Eastern Europe.
Austrian’s Chief Executive Officer Alfred ?-tsch explained the concept of how the Austrian Airlines Group is building on its advantage in Eastern Europe: ‘Our instruments of market cultivation make absolutely clear that we are now pushing Eastern Europe as our home market. While most of our competitors are still working to set up connections between capital cities, we are already widening our range to the Urals and beyond, while deepening our network at the same time. As many as 74% of the 1.8 million passengers we currently carry into and out of Eastern Europe are foreign transfer passengers who decide to use an Austrian flight via Vienna based on the attractiveness of our East European product. Our next step will be a wide-ranging passenger service offensive at our destination airports in Eastern Europe, which we will use to continue raising our market profile and complement with the inflight service improvements already introduced. We will be upgrading our aircraft and passenger handling infrastructure in Eastern Europe with more prominent airport management systems, expanding our lounge services and building up our customer care teams at local level. We will now be moving up a gear in our East European expansion and building on our long-term advantage by increasing the proportion of our traffic contributed by Eastern Europe.’
1. Economic growth as multiplier for market leadership in Eastern Europe
With its specialisation, the Austrian Airlines Group is concentrating on a region with one of the highest rates of economic growth today. Aviation traffic in Eastern Europe is forecast to grow significantly until 2010, by approximately 7.5% per annum.
2. First mover strategy as a high-value revenue basis
Austrian is consistently expanding its East European network with destinations in which it is the first airline to develop large-scale traffic. This ‘first mover’ strategy is a sound basis for higher revenues. Austrian already benefits from its pioneer role in 16 of the East European destinations.
3. Secondary market strategy as competitive advantage
The Austrian Airlines Group is opening up local economic regions in Eastern Europe that are the focus for international direct investments and corporate relocations, even away from the capital cities. This strategy has enabled the company to systematically cover both Ukraine and Romania, which now feature six and five destinations respectively. The East European portfolio of the Austrian Airlines Group currently takes in 9 primary and 36 secondary destinations in the region.
4. Frequency density as a guarantee of journey flexibility
In 26 of its current total of 45 East European destinations, the Austrian Airlines Group offers more frequencies per day/week than any of its competitors, consequently providing the best product, especially for the international business traveller.
5. Early morning/late evening connections as decisive convenience for business travellers
At 11 of its destinations in Eastern Europe, the Austrian Airlines Group already offers passengers the convenience of being able to do business locally during the day and be back home the same evening. Such flexibility is highly appreciated as a competitive advantage both by Austrian exporters and international clientele.
6. Route partnerships to strengthen Austrian’s local market position
With 21 local airline partners, the Austrian Airlines Group has built up a wide-ranging cooperation network in Eastern Europe, supporting the expansion of its market position.
7. East-West transfer system in Vienna as booster to East European expansion
Compared to the competition, the Austrian transfer system at the domestic hub of Vienna has an extremely high-speed turnaround, with four waves of transfers into Eastern Europe every day. This is the foundation of market leadership and future opportunities for expansion by the Austrian Airlines Group in Eastern Europe.