AUA adds extra Linz link

Austrian Airlines (AUA) has decided to introduce additional domestic flights in autumn.

The company said today (Thurs) it would add a morning service from Linz Airport (LNZ) to Vienna International Airport (VIA or VIE) on 30 October. The new flight will take off at the airport situated near the capital of Upper Austria at 8.20am. It is scheduled to arrive at VIA south of Vienna at 9.05am.

This announcement suggests that AUA takes on the challenge posed by the option to use cars and trains since the cities are separated by just 200 kilometres. The airline – which suffered a loss of 64.7 million Euros in 2010 – explained the extra morning flight would increase its daily service between LNZ and VIA to up to four flights on working days, with fewer connections on offer at weekends.

AUA also said today it would offer an additional flight between Klagenfurt Airport (KLU) in Carinthia, southern Austria, and VIA “from the end of October.” Jets operating on the route will take off at 6am, the company explained, pointing out it has been flying from KLU to VIA up to three times a day.

The news comes on the heels of rumours that AUA will slash its domestic flight plans to save costs. The airline was taken over by German company Lufthansa in 2009. It has been making losses for years. Hundreds of staff have been laid off in the past months. It currently has around 6,000 employees. AUA executive board member Andreas Bierwirth claimed in an interview last week that further sackings were not on the agenda.

AUA had 2.1 million passengers in the first three months of this year, one per cent more than in the same time span of 2010. AUA became the first European aviation company to offer connections to Baghdad International Airport (BGW) in Iraq last month after the end of the most recent war in the Arabian country.