Austrian Airlines invests over 90 million euros in conversion of long-haul fleet
• Entire long-haul fleet given modern cabin
• Greater seat comfort with new Economy Class seats, improved entertainment experience with new inflight entertainment system, and full-flat beds in Business Class
Austrian Airlines is converting its entire long-haul fleet and installing a new modern cabin: all ten long-haul aircraft of the types Boeing 777 and 767 are to be given new, modern Economy Class seats, an improved inflight entertainment system, and innovative seats in Business Class which can be transformed into full-flat beds. The entire interior design of the aircraft is also being given a new visual, as Austrian Airlines reworks the colour concept of its cabins. “We are investing over 90 million euros. I view that as an important investment in the future of Austrian Airlines,” said Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht. “The software, the warm and charming service we offer on board, has always been unique. When it came to the hardware, however, there was clearly room for improvement. Now, both software and hardware match up to our high standards.” Around 1.1 million customers travel long-haul with Austrian Airlines every year, on some 5,500 flights.
“The conversion of the long-haul fleet is an important milestone in a series of measures being taken to improve our product and quality,” added Austrian Airlines CCO Karsten Benz. In 2011, Austrian Airlines incorporated the new Europa cabin into its medium-haul aircraft of the Boeing and Airbus types. By the end of the first quarter of 2013, all the cabins on the carrier’s Dash and Fokker aircraft will have been given a face-lift. These will also be given leather seats, and adjusted to match the visual design of the medium-haul cabin. Another product innovation was the opening of the Austrian Star Alliance Terminal, with its six new lounges, in June 2012, followed by the introduction of the new catering concept, with à la carte menus by DO&CO, also in June 2012. The conversion of a long-haul aircraft takes around six weeks per aircraft. The first converted aircraft should take off before the end of this year. Conversion of the fleet as a whole will then take place on a step-by-step basis in the winter of 2012/2013, and should be complete in spring next year.
The new Business Class seat – as cosy as the own bed
The impressive new high-tech seat provides a lot of free space on all sides and a fully horizontal flat bed of approximately two metres in length. The innovative air cushion system allows passengers to individually adjust the degree of hardness of the seat from soft to firm. This makes being on board as relaxing as being at home. The system remembers the settings throughout the entire flight. The in-built massaging function provides complete relaxation. Passengers can activate this feature individually according to their needs. There are three different seating positions – Upright, Relax, and Sleep – that can be selected at the push of a button. Lowerable armrests widen the seat from 51 centimetres (20 inches) to almost 60 centimetres (24 inches), creating even more personal space.
The well-devised seating layout allows four in five passengers in the Boeing 777 to have direct aisle access. In the Boeing 767 all Business Class guests can directly access the aisle. In this way passengers can travel in future comfortabel and without being disturbed.
Relaxing in the new, ergonomic Economy Class seat
The new ergonomic Economy seat in an unobtrusive shade of grey has a very specific feature: when passengers recline the back, the seat automatically moves forward, providing a distinctly more comfortable relaxing position. The ergonomically designed headrest allows for comfortable travelling. The seat reclines by six degrees and has a seat pitch of 79 centimetres (31 inches). The seating layout remains unchanged, with a 3-4-3 arrangement in the Boeing 777 and 2-3-2 in the Boeing 767.
The in-flight movie theatre: In-flight entertainment state-of-the-art
There will be a new Video & Audio on Demand-system in the new long-haul cabin, that passengers can start and stop whenever they want to. Whether on an Economy or Business Class flight: The most up-to-date movies, audio, games, information, shopping and e-reading material guarantee nonstop on-board entertainment.
The new flat screens in Business Class are 38 centimetres (15 inches) in size, Economy Class screens 23 centimetres (9 inches). For best viewing, passengers can simply adjust the incline of the screen to match the sitting or reclining position.
Operating the touch screen is very easy: it simply needs to be tapped or slided with the finger across the screen like on a tablet PC or iPad. The intuitive user interface is available in German, English and – on account of the Far East network – also in Japanese and Chinese.
New cabin design with a touch of Austria
“Coming aboard and spending a holiday in Austria.” This is the motto of the new Austrian long-haul cabin. The Austrian Airlines colours of white, red and light blue dominate the design and have a calming and stress-reducing effect. The seats are fitted with understated grey fabric covers. The Business Class cabin has been furnished with highly luxurious material.
A typical Austrian motive is on the rear wall of the Business Class cabin: It features the mountain massif of the High Tauern with Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner.
Service by DO & CO –First Class service in Business Class
The Flying Chefs on Bord and menues by DO & CO will remain. The Flying Chefs prepare exquisite menus in Business Class like in a gourmet restaurant. There’s an amuse-gueule for starters, followed by soup and appetisers from the trolley as well as three main courses to choose from. To accompany the menu, there is a large offer of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and crisp bread. A selection of desserts and cheeses rounds off the meal. In the coffee shop above the clouds Austrian Airlines serve typical Austrian coffee specialities, such as an Einspänner (black coffee with whipped cream) or Melange (coffee with milk foam). For this service Austrian Airlines has frequently achieved top ranking in the “Best Business Catering” category at the SKYTRAX World Airline Award.
Economy Class passengers can choose between two different 2-course menus. Depending on the time of day, they are offered a hearty breakfast or a snack before landing. During the flight they can choose from the variety of free beverages, from mineral water, Austrian wines and beer through to coffee, tea or spirits. Economy class passengers who wish to treat themself to an upgrade, can order the “DO & CO à la carte menu”.
The Austrian long-haul network
The Austrian long-haul network includes the destinations of New York, Washington and Toronto in North America, as well as Bangkok, Tokyo, Malé, Delhi and Beijing in Asia. “Long-haul flights are an essential business segment for Austrian Airlines. They account for around 43 percent of our entire flight capacity. An investment of over 90 million euros therefore represents a clear expression of faith in the long-haul product of Austrian Airlines,” explained the Austrian CEO, Jaan Albrecht.
Austrian Airlines is Austria’s largest carrier and operates a global route network of round 130 destinations. That route network is particularly dense in Central and Eastern Europe: with 44 destinations, Austrian Airlines operates the densest route network into this region served by a single airport. Thanks to its favourable geographical location at the heart of Europe, the company’s hub at Vienna International Airport is the ideal gateway between East and West. Austrian Airlines is part of the Lufthansa Group, Europe’s largest airline group, and a member of the Star Alliance, the first global alliance of international airlines.