Austrian Airlines will be extending its North American product in the 2013 summer schedule: from 17th May, 2013 onwards, Austrian Airlines will be flying five times a week to Chicago, the largest city in the mid-western USA. The service will be operated using a Boeing 767, which by then will be equipped with a completely new cabin featuring new full-flat seats in Business Class, new, modern Economy seats, and a new inflight entertainment system.
This means Austrian Airlines will offer a total of 26 non-stop flights a week to North America next summer: the carrier operates daily flights to New York with a
Boeing 777, the largest long-haul aircraft in the Austrian fleet, and daily flights to Washington and Toronto with the Boeing 767.
Chicago is not just of interest to local passengers as a destination, however, but particularly for transfer traffic, that is for passengers transferring to another flight at the Vienna hub. The Austrian Airlines network into and out of Central and Eastern Europe, first and foremost destinations such as Prague, Bucharest, Sofia, Belgrade and Skopje, will be of particular interest to American passengers. Austrian Airlines is expecting to see a share of 30 percent local and 70 percent transfer traffic on the Chicago flights.
From Chicago, Austrian Airlines will offer attractive transfer connections to other destinations across the USA together with partner United Airlines – to and from cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Las Vegas, Denver and Seattle. United Airlines is a key partner within the transatlantic Joint Venture with Air Canada and Lufthansa Group. The Chicago O’Hare Airport is United’s most important hub.
Austrian Airlines has served Chicago as a destination in the past, most recently in the years 2007 and 2008. “Austrian Airlines has been part of a transatlantic joint venture with United Airlines and Air Canada since July 2011. As a result, Austrian Airlines has been able to significantly strengthen its market position on transatlantic flights in the last year,” explains Austrian CCO Karsten Benz. “The load factor on our flights to the USA to date stood at over 90 percent last summer. Chicago and the western United States show additional potential for us, thanks in particular to our outstanding collaboration with United Airlines.”
In the transatlantic Joint Venture all participating airlines use the sales power of all airlines, harmonize their flight schedules, and achieve a better load factor by doing so. Customers benefit from numerous services as a result: they can check their luggage straight through, earn miles, and use discounts for children with partner airlines. That means passengers also have greater opportunities in flight planning, because they can now combine all flights of partner airlines with one another. All of which makes travelling far more flexible and comfortable.