VIA’s status as key EE hub confirmed by latest passenger figures

Vienna International Airport (VIA) has strengthened its reputation as a major gateway to Eastern Europe (EE).The airport said today (Thurs) that it registered 9.9 per cent more passengers on flights departing to and arriving from airports in EE last month than in January 2010. VIA added that the number of passengers on flights to destinations in Western Europe improved by 5.6 per cent.VIA, which is located near Schwechat in the province of Lower Austria, recorded 1.28 million passengers last month, which is a 6.7 per cent year on year improvement.The aerodrome registered a 0.7 per cent increase of overall flight traffic as nearly 18,600 arrivals and take-offs occurred in January. The cargo volume edged up by 0.6 per cent year on year to 21,300 tonnes.VIA has also been in the news due to the dramatically overrunning costs of an immense construction project. Investigative journalists of weekly business magazine profil revealed that overall expenditure on the building of a new terminal may surpass one billion Euros.Managers vowed the construction of the Skylink terminal would not cost more than half of the current sum when the project was started six years ago. The terminal was set to go into operation ahead of the European Football Championship in 2008.Former VIA supervisory board chief Christoph Herbst, who recently became the airport’s new chairman, said Skylink will open next year. He also stressed overall costs will not be higher than 830 million Euros. Herbst is currently looking for aviation managers with international experience to take over from him.VIA recorded 19.69 million passengers last year, up by 8.7 per cent compared to 2009. The airport is managed by Flughafen Wien AG, a company quoted on the Vienna Stock Exchange (WBAG). One share was valued at 48.60 Euros at 2pm today.Reports about more passengers at VIA come just days after managers of the City Airport Train (CAT) said the service has received an extensive makeover.The CAT – which operates between the city centre of Vienna and VIA seven days a week – had 1.1 million customers last year. It has been claiming a market share of around 13 to 16 per cent of overall traffic between the capital and the airport in the past yearsCAT bosses announced that new leather seats had recently been installed. “Customers expect a first class service. That’s why we decided to invest around 250,000 Euros,” they said.The 20-minute railway service started in 2003. It is co-managed by VIA and Federal Railways (ÖBB).