AUA messes up economic take-off

Austrian Airlines (AUA) has failed to find the runway to recovery, latest business performance figures show.The airline sustained a loss of 63.5 million Euros in the first three months of this year, only down slightly compared to the same period of last year (64.7 million Euros).The carrier, which has its headquarters in Vienna, had an operative turnover of 447.4 million Euros in the first quarter of 2011, down by one million Euros from the first three months of 2010.AUA argued today (Thurs) it has been badly affected by the unrest in North Africa and the Middle East. The company added that its ticket sales were also harmed by the earthquake in Japan.AUA was taken over by Lufthansa in 2009. The German company planned to introduce its board member Thierry Antinori as new AUA CEO as of 1 April. However, the Frenchman announced his decision to leave Lufthansa a few days before he was due to take over at AUA. Lufthansa’s Austrian subsidiary company is co-managed by Andreas Bierwirth and Peter Malanik.AUA announced some weeks ago that it had 2.1 million passengers between January and March of this year, around one per cent fewer than in the first quarter of 2010. Lufthansa recorded 22.1 million customers in the first three months of this year, up by 6.9 per cent in the same period of last year. The company’s passenger statistics also consider its affiliates British Midland Airways (bmi), Swiss, Germanwings and AUA.Especially Swiss has turned out to be a money-spinning asset for Lufthansa. The Basel-based carrier achieved a profit of 12.6 million Euros in the first quarter of 2011 after a loss of 7.9 million Euros between January and March 2010. The number of passengers climbed by 5.9 per cent to 3.43 million.The entire Lufthansa Group’s turnover improved by 11.8 per cent to 6.4 billion Euros from the first quarter of 2010 to the same time span of this year.