1. Austrian Airways’ Origins
Austrian Airways’ genesis will be traced to March 20, 1918, when the Austrian Postal Administration inaugurated day by day scheduled mail service from Vienna to Kiew with intermediate stops in Krakow, Lwow, and Proskurow, and later growth included Odessa, from Proskurow, and Budapest, from Vienna. When area permitted, passengers have been additionally carried. However a flight prohibition, carried out on the finish of World Struggle I, pressured its discontinuation.
When the ban was lifted, Austria subsequently reentered the civil aviation market by establishing the Oesterreichische Luftverkehrs AG (OELAG) on Could 12, 1923 with an preliminary a million Crown funding financed by Junkers, a German plane producer (49 p.c), and numerous Austrian shareholders (51 p.c).
Commencing scheduled service from Munich to Vienna two days later, it operated a single-engine, low-wing Junkers F.13, which featured an enclosed cockpit and passenger cabin. OELAG finally operated a number of variations of this rugged, however (then) fashionable design, and growing demand quickly necessitated bigger plane, the primary of which was a higher-capacity, tri-engine Junkers G.24 delivered in 1927 and the second of which was the extra superior G.31, acquired the next 12 months.
Maybe the final word design, nevertheless, was the Junkers Ju.52/3m, a tri-engine, 18-passenger airliner with a gross weight of 24,000 kilos and a cruise velocity in extra of 150 mph that joined the fleet in 1936. Most main East and West European flag carriers additionally operated the kind right now.
By the next 12 months, OELAG’s route system included Athens, Belgrade, Berlin, London, Paris, Prague, Rome, and Zurich, along with a number of Austrian home locations, with a lot of the service day by day. It will definitely turned the fourth largest European service after Lufthansa, KLM, and Air France, with 975,840 weekly seat-kilometers. Coincident with OELAG’s progress was the completion of 5 Austrian airports–namely, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Salzburg, and Vienna.
When Austria was in the end absorbed into the Third Reich in 1938, OELAG was included into Deutsche Luft Hansa (DLH). Nonetheless, it had flown 120,000 passengers 7.5 million kilometers with out fatality throughout its reign.
2. Preliminary Progress
When World Struggle II ended, Austria, as soon as once more unbiased, signed the Peace Treaty with all 4 occupying powers, and re-contemplated scheduled air service by forming a flag service. Two such nationwide airways have been really proposed: Air Austria, fashioned by the Austrian Individuals’s Celebration and capitalized by KLM and later Fred Olsen, a Norwegian constitution firm, and Austrian Airways, fashioned by the Austrian Socialist Celebration and financially supported by SAS. Neither ever flew and the 2 have been finally mixed on September 30, 1957 to create an built-in firm with an preliminary AUS 60 million funding which adopted, Phoenix-like, its pre-war identify of Oesterreichische Luftverkehrs AG, however whose English equal of “Austrian Airways” was formally used.
Possession included Austrian non-public buyers, at 42 p.c; public enterprises, at 28 p.c; SAS, at 15 p.c; and Fred Olsen, at 15 p.c.
Austrian inaugurated scheduled service on March 31, 1958 after a 20-year suspension with 4 leased Vickers V.779 Viscounts, a medium-capacity, four-engine turboprop airliner designed in Nice Britain and initially operated on the Vienna-Zurich-London route.
Progress proceeded quickly and, in 1960, it took supply of the primary of 4 larger-capacity, stretched Vickers V.837 Viscounts, which it inaugurated into service on Could 23, and the next 12 months it took supply of the V.845 for barely lower-density routes. Each British turboprops offered dependable, economical service, the V.837s employed till 1971.
The Douglas DC-3, the best-selling civil airliner, was additionally acquired right now and enabled Austrian to inaugurate home companies on Could 1, 1963, a route that may later be served by Austrian Air Companies. This plane was changed by the extra superior, larger-capacity, turboprop-powered Hawker Siddeley HS.748-2 in 1966, one other British design.
Austrian Airways entered the jet age on February 20, 1963 when it used the primary of 5 Sud-Aviation SE.210-VIR Caravelle twin-jets, poising it for its attribute technique of working short- to medium-range, low- to medium-capacity, t-tailed twin-jets on a predominantly European (and later North African and Center Japanese) route system. Designed in France, the Caravelle, the primary economical, short-range, pure-jet airliner, was quiet, cruised above the climate, and diminished flying occasions between European capitals.
3. Transatlantic Experiment
Opposite to most European flag carriers, which operated transatlantic service to the United Stares and Canada with quad-engine DC-4s because the finish of World Struggle II, Austrian Airways maintained its medium-range route system till April 1, 1969, at which era it stretched its wings throughout the Atlantic with an intercontinental Boeing 707-320, registered OE-LBA and chartered from Sabena Belgian World Airways. Operated on the Vienna-New York route with an intermediate cease in Brussels, it constituted what might have been thought-about its “transatlantic experiment,” however, regardless of Austrian’s prior delay in launching it, it nonetheless proved each a untimely and financially unsound resolution for 2 main causes.
Its Austrian house market was, at the beginning, nonetheless too small to help this service, whereas Vienna-Schwechat Airport was not sufficiently developed as a hub, thus providing few connecting flights to which this transatlantic service might switch passengers.
After a two-year trial, the 707 was consequently returned to proprietor Sabena on March 31, 1971, leaving Austrian as soon as once more to focus on its primarily continental route system, for which 9 short-to medium-range Douglas (later McDonnell-Douglas) DC-9-30s have been ordered.
Related in general design to the Caravelle, however manufactured in america, the t-tailed jetliner provided a barely greater passenger capability, a better gross weight, extra highly effective engines, and improved economics, and with it Austrian entered a brand new period that may span nearly 20 years. It later described this design as “the beginning of one thing large, classical and nonetheless fashionable.” Delivered on June 19, 1971, the primary DC-9-30 and people who adopted quickly turned the mainstay of its fleet.
One other transient intercontinental route was launched In 1974, this time for the aim of carrying cargo, when Austrian leased a McDonnell-Douglas DC-8-63F, registered OE-IBO, from Abroad Nationwide Airways (ONA) and served Hong Kong, however this service was later discontinued. Apart from the only 707-320, the DC-8-63F was its solely different large-capacity, long-range, quad-engine jet.
So versatile and common did the fundamental DC-9 design show itself to be, nevertheless, that the service later ordered 5 stretched, higher-capacity DC-9-50s, the primary of which was delivered on September 14 of the next 12 months.
That operation of those twin-engine plane and the discontinuation of its transatlantic try have been correct methods for the Austrian nationwide service was mirrored by its constructive progress. On June 26, 1974, for instance, a brand new upkeep base opened at Schwechat Worldwide Airport-Vienna. Its worth additionally continued to swell: in 1967 its share capital elevated by AUS 140 million to AUS 290 million. In 1969, it additional elevated to 390 million. And in 1962 it reached the one billion mark. In the course of the three-year interval from 1972 to 1974, it equally posted a revenue.
Its route system additionally commensurately expanded: in 1976, when Austrian launched service to Cairo in North Africa and to Stockholm and Helsinki in Scandinavia.
Demand, quickly outpacing capability, prompted an preliminary order for eight McDonnell-Douglas DC-9-80s to switch its current DC-9-50s. Additionally designated DC-9 Tremendous 80s, these plane represented the next-generation model of its earlier -50 sequence variant for operation on medium-range sectors and featured an additional fuselage stretch for nonetheless greater capability and refanned, higher-thrust, and extra fuel-efficient Pratt and Whitney JT8D-209 engines.
Austrian, which shared the excellence of being co-launch buyer for the design with Swissair, inaugurated the primary elongated DC-9-81 into service on October 26, 1980 on the Vienna-Zurich route with plane OE-LDR “Wien.” The dual-jet was later redesignated MD-81 and rapidly turned the short- to medium-haul workhorse of its fleet.
New additions to its ever-expanding route system included Larnaca and Jeddah in 1979 and Tripoli in 1981.
One other 1980 milestone was marked by the institution of Austrian Air Companies (AAS), which finally turned a wholly-owned subsidiary, for the aim of working Austrian home routes with two twin-turboprop, 19-passenger Fairchild Swearingen Metro II commuter plane. It entered service on April 1.
Austrian plied clean skies. Certainly, its 1980 stability sheet indicated an AUS 71.5 million web revenue, its tenth consecutive one.
The MD-81, intermittently proving itself as optimally suited to its growing demand route system because the SE.210-VIR, DC-9-30, and DC-9-50 have been, was adopted by its shorter-fuselage spinoff, the MD-87, which Austrian ordered on December 19, 1984 for lower-capacity route sectors. The Austrian Air Companies fleet was equally upgraded with the addition of two 50-passenger Fokker F.50 twin-turboprops ordered on September 25 of the next 12 months.