Austrian Airlines is axing routes, cutting capacity and increasing fuel charges in the wake of the oil crisis.
Its London City Airport service is to go from 18 August and its Chicago winter route has been cancelled.
Overall production will be reduced by 5% this coming winter compared to the original plan, with three fewer aircraft being used in 2009. The personnel cuts will be achieved through fluctuation and by putting a stop on new appointments. Other measures will be implemented depending on the ongoing development of the aviation crisis.
The Austrian national carrier is also increasing its fuel surcharge for short- and medium-haul flights from the current level of EUR 24 to EUR 27. Fuel surcharges on long-haul routes are also increased, from EUR 92 to EUR 98.
Austrian Chief Executive Officer Alfred ?-tsch said: “With this step, we are reacting selectively to the tense situation in the industry. On North Atlantic routes, which have come under particularly sharp pressure due to the weak rate of the dollar and collapse in economic activity, we will be reducing our capacities by a total of 21% this winter. “
The flight schedule to Mumbai will be reduced from seven to five flights a week in the winter season. From mid-January 2009 until the end of the winter season, the number of flights to New York will be reduced from six to five a week, and to Washington from seven to six. The overall result of these changes is a significant reduction of 21% in production (measured in available seat kilometres or ASK). The aircraft capacities freed up by the changes will be used to bring forward technical stand times and modifications over the winter.
Flights to London City Airport will be removed from the schedule from 18 August. Due first and foremost to the banking crisis and the slots assigned to the company, which could not be optimised with customer requirements, the demand trend had remained below expectations. The flight schedule to London Heathrow, with up to five flights a day, remains unchanged and offers attractive connections between Vienna and London for Austrian passengers. As a further measure, individual frequency reductions will be carried out in the winter season, primarily in Western Europe.