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Austrian boosts business class space

The amount of space available to Business Class passengers on Austrian Airlines aircraft is to increase with the conversion of the Boeing 777 and Boeing 767 fleet. The share of space devoted to Business Class seating on the Boeing long-haul fleet is set to rise from its level of 13.6% at present to 17.7%.

A total of 49 lie-flat sleeper seats will be used on the Boeing 777 heading for Asia and Australia in the future, with 36 of the new Business Class seats to feature on Boeing 767 aircraft.

Dr. Josef E. Burger, who as Chief Commercial Officer is also responsible for product conception made the following statement: ‘Last year, the overall share of people travelling Business Class stood at around 13%, with the revenue generated by this share some 30% of the total. In the first quarter of 2006, we were able to increase the percentage of our traffic devoted to Business Class passengers to 14.7% on short- and medium-haul routes, and to 9.1% in long-haul.’ Investment in the new Austrian lie-flat sleeper seat on long-haul routes and the equipment with inflight internet services by Connexion by Boeing? will total EUR 40 million for the long-haul fleet.

Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Burger commented as follows on the expected revenues: ‘The expansion and significant increase in the quality of Austrian Business Class on long-haul routes is expected to produce this year approximately 19,000 extra Business Class passengers. This will rise to around 30,000 additional Business Class passengers a year in years to come. The additional revenue potential as a result will total approximately EUR 15 million per annum.’ The Boeing 777 and Boeing 767 long-haul jets will be redesigned step-by-step from the summer onwards. In future, passengers will experience the new comfort in Austrian Business Class, including the lie-flat sleeper seat, on routes to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, Sydney, Delhi, New York, Washington, Toronto, Mumbai (Bombay), Mauritius, Phuket, Colombo, Malé and Caribbean holiday destinations. The tried-and-tested Airbus A330 and A340 long-haul aircraft also offer travel comfort of the highest standard, with wireless internet access available throughout the cabin.