The booking situation at the Lufthansa subsidiary is worse than expected. As a result, Austrian Airlines' winter offer will be smaller than planned.
View from an Austrian Airlines plane: Smaller flight offering than expected.
About three weeks ago Chief Executive Officer Alexis von Hoensbroech prepared his staff for bad news. The airline’s sales lay «below the expectations», explained the head of Austrian Airlines. Now he has repeated the message and specified what this means for the airline. In the winter season 2020/21, the company will not offer 50 percent of the previous year’s services as previously planned, but only 30 percent.
The change is necessary because, on one hand, many countries are on quarantine lists and are therefore unattractive for holidaymakers. At the same time, Vienna and other Austrian federal provinces are on the quarantine lists of other European countries. This makes these further adjustments to the flight plan necessary, von Hoensbroech told employees.
Liquidity situation better than expected
Austrian Airlines will offer flights to around 60 destinations during the winter season. This is around 20 fewer than in the previous year. However, many destinations will be served far less frequently than in the past.
Despite poor booking figures, Austrian Airlines reports some positive news: The liquidity situation is «above planned levels due to strict cost discipline», says the Lufthansa subsidiary. Among other things, it has extended short-time working. The last 100 million package of the state-guaranteed loan amounting 300 million euros will also be transferred shortly, it announced. In addition, the company will receive 150 million euros in disaster relief from the Austrian government and 150 million in fresh equity capital from owner Lufthansa.
Summer will be decisive
Austrian Airlines makes it clear that the current situation can’t go on like this for much longer. «The next summer will be decisive. If we get the virus under control by then, land will be in sight again», predicts Board Member Andreas Otto.