The Austrian Airlines Group is to continue to develop and expand its route network in Russia.From the beginning of the summer schedule 2008 onwards, three flights a week will take off for each of two new destinations in the Austrian schedule, the cities of Sochi and Nizhniy Novgorod. Fokker 70 aircraft will operate both routes. Traffic to Sochi begins on 1 April, with the first flight to Nizhniy Novgorod departing the following day, 2 April. Austrian already offers passengers five Russian destinations in the cities of Rostov, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Krasnodar. By incorporating flights to Sochi and Nizhniy Novgorod into its schedule, the Austrian Airlines Group is consolidating its position as the world’s second-largest airline where measured by the number of destinations in Russia. The Austrian Airlines Group is also a top player in frequency terms, as the world’s third-largest carrier.
Austrian Chief Executive Officer Alfred ?-tsch made the following statement about the two new destinations: “As part of the highly successful Focus East strategy of the Austrian Airlines Group, we are expanding our Russian route network to seven destinations this year. Businesspeople both at home and abroad value our commitment to Russia enormously; the seven destinations we now serve are the attractive centres of population in the country, and all demonstrate a highly dynamic economic growth. In this way, we are once again underlining our leading role as a specialist and pioneer in the east, and the destinations of Sochi and Nizhniy Novgorod also strengthen our transfer traffic.”
The Fokker 70: high passenger comfort due to extra legroom in Business Class
Passengers travelling to Sochi and Nizhniy Novgorod can sit back and relax inflight: last summer, Austrian removed an entire row of seats from all aircraft in its Fokker fleet, increasing the amount of seat legroom enormously. Passengers travelling Business Class on Fokker 70 aircraft now enjoy a generous 86 cm (34 inches) of legroom, putting the Austrian Airlines Group in a leading position compared to other European carriers. As usual, the middle seat in Business Class also on flights to and from Sochi and Nizhniy Novgorod is kept free for a higher level of passenger comfort.
The Olympic city of Sochi
Founded in 1838, the city of Sochi lies at the foot of the Caucasian Mountains on the east coast of the Black Sea. With 300 days of sunshine a year, the city is one of the most popular beach and health resorts in Russia and is currently experiencing a boom in tourism. Sochi is to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, and is of real interest to the Austrian financial and construction sector due to the high investment in infrastructure and brisk building activity currently underway. Austrian paid greatest attention to the needs of domestic businesspeople when designing its flight schedules, emphasising the need to create the optimum transfer opportunities for international passengers via Austrian’s Vienna hub. Sochi is served by direct evening flights from Vienna on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as a result, with return flights reaching Vienna in the early morning, offering passengers the perfect connections to Central and Western Europe and the USA and Canada.
Located some 400 kilometres east of Moscow, Nizhniy Novgorod is Russia’s fifth-largest city and boasts a highly developed industrial sector. Examples of industries with a presence in the city include automobile manufacturing, submarine docks, an aircraft hangar and the electronics and engineering sectors. The city is also considered Russia’s architectural Mecca, and consequently of interest to tourists as well as business travellers. Nizhniy Novgorod has regularly played a leading role in introducing market reforms to Russia in recent years. The city was renamed Gorky from 1932 to 1991, after one of its most famous sons, author Maxim Gorky, before returning to its original name of Nizhniy Novgorod with the fall of Communism. Nobel Peace Prizewinner Andrei Sakharov was also born in Nizhniy Novgorod.