Happy 60th Birthday Austrian Airlines!

  • Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz “baptizes“ long-haul aircraft
  • CEO Kay Kratky expects about 2,500 guests in the Austrian Technik hangar at Vienna Airport

VIENNA, Austrian, 2018-May-15 — /Travel PR News/ — The company “Austrian Airlines Österreichische Luftverkehrs Aktiengesellschaft” was founded on March 31, 1958. Today, on May 15, 2018, the red-white-red flag carrier will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its operations in the Austrian Technik hangar at Vienna Airport together with customers, employees, business partners, political decision makers and its own family (Lufthansa, SWISS, Eurowings). The list of guests of honor is led by Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology Norbert Hofer and Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr. The Federal Chancellor and his host, Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky, will name the latest Boeing 777 long-haul aircraft “Sibanye“. It is a South African word and means “We are one“. The additional long-haul aircraft should be deployed for the new destination Cape Town in South Africa departing from October 2018 as well as for flights to Tokyo throughout the summer.

“Over the decades Austrian Airlines has emerged as an Austrian flagship company and an important ambassador of our country. Each day Austrian Airlines carries our red-white-red culture and hospitality throughout the world and brings millions of guests to our country. It is wonderful to have this privilege to see that ‘our AUA’ can celebrate and also grow again“, says Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology Norbert Hofer also conveys his best wishes on the airline’s birthday. ”I also wish Austrian Airlines all the best on its 60th anniversary of its founding. Austrian Airlines is an important employer in the eastern part of Austria and a driver of the domestic economy and tourism. The third runway at Vienna Airport will provide Austrian Airlines with further development and growth opportunities.”

Austrian Airlines is celebrating another anniversary in 2018, namely ten years as part of the Lufthansa Group. In December 2018, the state holding company ÖIAG, which served as the shareholder representative, approved the sale of Austrian Airlines to Europe’s largest airline group. “After the privatization, the team of Austrian Airlines made their airline profitable again and it is on the ascent. All employees can be very proud of this. I am optimistic that there is further potential in Austrian Airlines and the Austrian market to make the airline even more successful in the future”, states Carsten Spohr, Chief Executive Officer of the Lufthansa Group, attending today’s celebration. This is also underlined by Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky. “The employees of Austrian Airlines are fighters who manage to pull through, also in the most difficult situations and under the greatest strain.” In 2017, Austrian Airlines was in the black for the fifth straight year and was also able to show a new passenger record. For the first time since the airline was established, it transported nearly thirteen million passengers, more than ever before.

The airline is already predestined to grow further in 2018. Austrian Airlines received an additional long-haul aircraft in time for the festivities. “The added Boeing 777 will transport about 150,000 passengers per year“, says Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky. In the meantime, the aircraft was leased from the Irish aircraft lessor AerCap for a period of about eight years and represents an investment of about EUR 60 million, including conversion costs. The original value of the jet is about EUR 200 million. Approximately 150 employees are necessary to operate such an aircraft. The Boeing 777 with the registration OE-LPF will be officially inaugurated today during the festivities by Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and given the name “Sibanye“. South African schoolchildren at the iThemba Primary School in Cape Town proposed this name. The school is supported by the Help Alliance, the aid organization of the Lufthansa Group.

On the occasion of the airline’s 60th birthday, “Sibanye” has been fitted out with a special labeling. A disproportionately large “60” can be seen on the right side in the flight direction, and two people in flying postures are depicted on both sides. The flying posture is derived from the 60th anniversary campaign of Austrian Airlines. In this context, Austrian Airlines employees are shown as if they were flying in line with the motto “Austria is flying.” The number 60 and the four figures on the Boeing 777 are comprised of about 2,300 individual images of Austrian Airlines employees, thus putting a face on the Boeing 777.

2,500 guests in the Austrian Technik hangar at Vienna Airport
About 2,500 guests have accepted the invitation to come to the festivities. They include Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Federal Minister Norbert Hofer, Second President of the National Council Doris Bures, Lower Austrian Provincial Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Lower Austrian Member of the Lower Austrian Provincial Government Petra Bochuslav, T-Mobile CEO Andreas Bierwirth, Do&Co CEO Attila Dogudan, Siemens CEO Wolfgang Hesoun, Vienna Tourist Board Managing Director Norbert Kettner, Federal of Austrian Industries Secretary General Christoph Neumayer, News Publishing Group CEO Horst Pirker, Telekom Austria CEO Alejandro Plater, Austro Control CEO Heinz Sommerbauer and Austrian Travel Agency CEO Martin Winkler. The flight attendants on the first flight operated on March 31, 1958 to London, Ilse Olsen and Maria Jakl, will also be present. The well-known radio moderator Robert Kratky will guide the guests through the evening. Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will be represented, amongst others, by Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr, Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky, the designated new Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis Von Hoensbroech (starting on August 1, 2018), Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto and Austrian Airlines CFO Wolfgang Jani.

On the occasion of its 60th birthday, Austrian Airlines published the book “Ein Lächeln fliegt um die Welt. Eine Zeitreise durch die Geschichte von Austrian Airlines” (A Smile Flies Around the World. A Journey Through the History of Austrian Airlines – in German only). The second updated edition is available in bookstores and in the Austrian Airlines Jetshop: https://www.austrian.com/jetshop.


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SOURCE: Austrian Airlines AG