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Philharmonic Airbus takes off

Austrian Airlines has transformed a wide body A340 jet to advertise the strongest single symbol of Austrian culture: the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The takeoff of the “Vienna Philharmonic Airbus” was honoured by Federal Minister for Education, Science and Culture Mrs. Elisabeth Gehrer in the evening of January 10, 2006 accompanied by numerous national and international VIPs.

The Austrian Cardinal Archbishop Dr. Christoph Schönborn solemly blessed the Austrian jet and high-ranking representatives of the Lower Austrian Province, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Austrian Mint sent the plane on its journey.

Austrian Chief Executive Officer Vagn Soerensen commented at the presentation of the Vienna Philharmonic long-range jet. “Politically, economically and culturally, Austria once again finds itself at the centre of international interest.

The Austrian Presidency of the European Union for the first six months of the new year and the Mozart Memorial Year of 2006 will present the perfect opportunity for us, as the Austrian national carrier, to express our national unity.

Together with the world-famous musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Austria Mint, we have succeeded in creating a partnership specifically designed to carry the good news of Austria’s unmistakeable culture and way of life to every corner of the world. Austrian Airlines has created a distinct visual symbol of this partnership with its inspiring and exceptional remodelling of a complete long-range jet.”


As part of a close cooperation between Austrian Airlines, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Austria Mint, the paintwork of the aircraft has been redesigned in such a way that it emphasises the distinctive features of the world-famous orchestra and its musical instruments. In addition to a Stradivari-violin and a cello, the new design depicts a
“Vienna F-horn”, as played exclusively by the members of the Vienna Philharmonic.

Apart from stringed bowed instruments, a harp, a bassoon and the “Vienna horn” are also to be seen on the gold coins which feature on the exterior of the aircraft.

The Vienna Philharmonic coin has often been described by expert collectors and investors as the most beautiful gold coin in the world, and more than 8.7 million have been sold since it was first minted in 1989. The Vienna Philharmonic coin is one of the most popular international investment items.

The Airbus A340-300 OE-LAL will be used primarily on long-haul routes to Japan. On 1 March 2006, the Vienna Philharmonic will use ‘its’ aircraft to travel from Vienna to New York to launch its American Tour.