AUA gets €50mn earnings command

German aviation giant Lufthansa expects its affiliated firm Austrian Airlines (AUA) to achieve earnings of 50 million Euros this year, it has been claimed.Business newspapers in Austria and Germany reported today (Thurs) that bosses of the German airline told AUA’s board they want to see it make operative earnings of 50 million Euros in 2010. In order to achieve this the struggling Viennese company must do significantly better than last year when it suffered losses of around 50 million Euros.Lufthansa was headed by Austrian businessman Georg Mayrhuber between 2003 and 2010. German aviation entrepreneur Christoph Franz succeeded Mayrhuber as of 1 January this year.The German carrier acquired a majority interest in AUA in September 2009 – shortly after the Austrian government coalition of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and People’s Party (ÖVP) invested half a billion Euros in the airline. AUA was on the brink of bankruptcy at that time.Frenchman Thierry Antinori will join AUA’s executive board – which currently consists of Andreas Bierwirth and Peter Malanik – on 1 April.AUA was founded in 1957. The airline had 10.9 million passengers last year, up by nearly 10 per cent compared to 2009.