Austrian comment on Al Jaber speculation

During the course of continuing speculation regarding the entry of investor, Al Jaber, Austrian CEO, Mag. Alfred ?-tsch has released a statement. “Sheikh Al Jaber approached us and announced his interest in investing in Austrian Airlines AG. We have undertaken everything in order to actively support him with his plan, so that the appropriate resolutions were ultimately be passed for an investment. The exit that is now in the air and the reasons given for this are not comprehensible for us in any way. Also, I am personally deeply disappointed. Despite this development, we expect that Sheikh Al Jaber will comply with the contract. If this should not take place, we shall undertake appropriate steps in order to preserve our rights. I again emphatically reject the allegation of deception, it is completely unfounded. Constructing this as a reason for exist is astonishing, as the investor still intended to increase his commitment by a further 4.9%, taking advantage of the low share price, in the knowledge of the already disclosed results of the first quarter of 2008.

Notwithstanding a possible exit by Sheikh Al Jaber, there will be no change to our company’s strategy, which is neutral to questions of ownership. We will continue to concentrate on our core markets in Central and Eastern Europe and will continuously drive our growth in the Middle East, with the new Premium Service. Even without the investment of al Jaber, we will find ways in the future to sustainably occupy this market successfully. We also have the financial strength to do this, the lions shares of economic losses were eliminated last year, we have a good strategic positioning and capitalise on our competitive advantages. Due to the difficult industry situation, we will undertake measures to secure profitability.”