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Austrian Expands in India

Having added the destinations of Shanghai and Singapore to its programme of scheduled services in 2004, the Austrian Airlines Group is continuing the successful expansion of its long-range traffic in 2005. As of 1 September 2005 the city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), the centre of India’s booming economy, will become the latest addition to Austrian’s long-range programme, with direct services operating five times a week from Vienna. Chief Executive Officer Vagn Soerensen commented as follows on the dynamic nature of the group’s long-range service growth: ‘Our daily flights to the Indian national capital of New Delhi enjoy an very strong average load factor of approximately 77 % year-round. Now, in an effort to open up our market on the Indian subcontinent further still, we have added Mumbai to our scheduled programme. The new route will operate five times a week, using a long-range Boeing B767-300 jet providing 36 Business and 209 Economy seats per flight. We expect to transport around 145,000 passengers on our Delhi route in 2005 as a whole, and approximately 30,000 people on the Mumbai service during the remainder of the year. The Austrian Airlines Group is already the fourth-largest European carrier providing services to the Far East/Australia and the only continental European airline operating scheduled flights ‘Down Under’.’

Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Josef E. Burger went on to say: ‘Similarly to our flight programme to and from New Delhi, we have integrated our flights to Mumbai into our schedule of connections to Western and Eastern Europe via Vienna and into our transfer system across the North Atlantic to the USA. We are also continuing to collaborate extensively with the Austrian tourist industry to intensify incoming tourist traffic from India to Austria, in an effort to maximise value creation in this sector for the domestic economy overall. The incoming potential of those Indians who can afford to make a foreign trip is currently estimated at around 50 million tourists. Last year alone some 39,000 Indians visited Austria, a trend which continues to rise dynamically.

‘Mumbai may well not be the end of our programme of new routes to India, however. Assuming that traffic volume into and out of Mumbai develops positively, it’s possible that we will be considering a third destination such as Chennai (formerly Madras), Bangalore or Hyderabad at a later point.’

Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra, on the country’s west coast. With approximately 16 million residents, it is India’s second-largest city, second only to Kalkotta and ahead of the national capital of New Delhi. The city is India’s economic heart, with its leading financial centre and its largest stock exchange.

Mumbai is the centre of India’s cotton and textiles sector, its world-famous film industry (‘Bollywood’), press and publishing industry, shipbuilding and repair, chemicals, engineering and metalworking sectors. Mumbai also provides the perfect starting-point for tourists wishing to visit the numerous sights of interest throughout western and central India.