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Austrian Airlines Could Become Lufthansa (again)  
User currently offlineRickster From Austria, joined Dec 2000, 653 posts, RR: 4
Posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2014 times:

The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) and the Austrian political and business magazine Profil started to speculate on a possible takeover of Austrian Airlines by Lufthansa. LH has shown interest to buy SR´s 10% OS stake for first and then maybe fully integrate Austrian Airlines into Lufthansa. Austrian Airlines CEO Vagn Sörensen said this is just speculation, he see´s Austrian Airlines future as an independent carrier within the Star Alliance. Business experts do see Austrians future as part of Lufthansa. Austrian Airlines is to small to exist as a profitable Airline.

In the meantime Austrian Airlines is going to give up the brands "Rheintalflug" and "Tyrolean" both Airlines will be fully integrated into Austrian Airlines, while Lauda Air will continue to exist as charter airline only. Austrian is going to sell it´s Lauda Air Italy stake asap, but it´s unsure what happens to the 3 767-300 Lauda Air has leased to Lauda Air Italy.

Speculations on possible destination changes continue as well. Instead of Toronto and Chicago there maybe a comeback of Shanghai and Johannesburg (!, if Swissair gives up their flight). And this now after LH has both destinations on their schedule out of Munich.....

sources (in german only): www.orf.at www.profil.at

So what do you think - is this the beginning of the end of Austrian Airlines? Austrian Airlines once again part of Lufthansa?

Regards Rickster





22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAir Taiwan From Australia, joined Dec 1999, 1518 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1903 times:

Hmm.... some pretty dramatic moves I'd say...

I think it makes sense to absorb Tyrolean and Rheintalflug into Austrian. Not many people outside Europe know the airlines.

But the LH merging Austrian thing... I'm not too sure about that... it's like Qantas taking up Air NZ.... be very careful on that one I'd say...

Jimmy


User currently offlineJohnnybgoode From Germany, joined Jan 2001, 2187 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1891 times:

i do agree that it makes sense to integrate both Rheinthalflug and Tyrolean into Austrian.
however, i think it will be more like a subdivision, still bearing the same or almost the same livery as OS, but they will make sure to have VO and WE seperated from OS, lower pilot wages and so on...

it´s nice to see that Lauda will remain. the move to an charter-only airline was speculated for quite some time now.

i do agree that if LH took over OS that would be even worse for the flying public, however, it really seems that OS, the company itself, could really profit from such a move.
although this would almost certainly result in some lay-offs because combining LH and OS operations in Austria would set free some workforce,OS is not a very strong airline and the operational benefits could truly enhance LH´s and OS´ performances, thus ensuring the future of OS and its employees.

rgds
daniel



If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
User currently offlineHepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks ago) and read 1861 times:

I think Europe has too many airlines for its market. I predict that you will see a consolidation of airlines, as happened in the U.S., to a smaller, more efficient number of airlines. Of course, there will be strong nationalistic opposition, but in time, it will have to happen. Europe cannot continue with inefficient national airlines for every country.

User currently offlineNfx From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks ago) and read 1853 times:

giving up the brand "Tyrolean"? are they nuts???

VO is one of the leading regional carriers in Europe.
Erasing them would be another nail in Austrian's coffin...

But, OK - they`ll what to do - I personally don`t mind an LH Md87...


User currently offlineOE-LDA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1822 times:

To the best of my knowledge Austrian Airlines has never been part of / or controlled by Lufthansa. Austrian was founded on 09 September 1957 and was independent ever since. Anyone who flew Austrian and Lufthansa before will agree that it should stay that way. Lufthansa's influence on Austrian are already strong enough.

Regards, OE-LDA


User currently offlineJohnnybgoode From Germany, joined Jan 2001, 2187 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1802 times:

i think it´s pretty interesting to see what will happen to the fleet of the entire austrian airlines aviation group.
OS operates 340s, 330s, 320s, M80s, F70s, Lauda has 772s, 763s, many different 737s, some CRJs, Tyrolean has some CRJs as well, F70s, too, and lots of Dash 8s, Rheinthalflug operates also Dash 8s and some ERJs.
that´s quite a mix for such a few number of aircraft.

ok, the M80s will leave OS´ fleet rather soon, but the rest?
i would love to see the 777s remain in Lauda colors, but they seem too big. however, they seem to be operated pretty economically on the SYD and MEL runs.
the 763s fit into the charter niche which Lauda is supposed to fill pretty will, so they most probably stay imho, but what about the 737s?
the fleets of Austrian and Lauda will obviously serve two different markets, however, the fleets of both airlines are so small that i must ask if it does make sense to operate so many different types.

anyone´s got a clue?

rgds
daniel



If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
User currently offlineRickster From Austria, joined Dec 2000, 653 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1760 times:

OE-LDA,

you are right with your commend and i know that the present company "Austrian Airlines" foundet 1957 was neither part of nor officialy ever under direct control of Lufthansa. Just very often under pressure. Until the 90es it was politically not possible even thinking about such discussions. And i remember the times when Austrian Airlines did so bad that it was officially discussed to give up a national airline at all. Later former OS CEO Mr. Heschgl (before Bammer/Rehulka) once said "why shall we expand - we have Frankfurt and Zurich...."
"Again" in the header is meant in conclusion with austrian airlines (the industrie - not the brand).
A downgrade of the onboard service to LH standards will hopefully never happen.


Daniel,

OS definately need to do something with the fleet, even when they tend to say that the mix allowes them to be flexible day by day. I can imagine that the "buses" would fit in the concept, the MD`s will be gone sooner then we think. I still don´t know why OS didn´t order the A319 for thinner routes.

But i can see us flying shuttles to Munich and Frankfurt. Maybe they keep some destinations in the US, Asia and Australia out of VIE. Leaning towards LH means that Vienna Airport can forget about their expantion plans.
Regards Rickster



User currently offlineAirblue From San Marino, joined May 2001, 1825 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1743 times:

Any more info about the future of LaudaAir Italia, from my experience one of the best carrier on long-haul charter.

User currently offlineJohnnybgoode From Germany, joined Jan 2001, 2187 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1723 times:

when thinking about LH taking over Austrian, i wouldn´t necessarily assume that would be the end of major expansion plans at vienna airport and other austrian airports, nor the end of Austrian´s intercontinental network.

i do agree that LH seems pretty eager to get as many connecting pax from its partners (SAS, BD, OS) to feed its own network.

however, we all know that FRA is overcrowded (in light of recent developments it won´t be as bad in the near future as it was the last year) and that MUC also becomes pretty crowded during peak-times.

i wouldn´t be surprised if their were soon services, f.e. to africa, the near-east, and 2nd-tier gateways in the usa and asia which would be exclusively operated by LH (JNB,TLV...) from FRA and MUC, whereas SK, OS and others act as feeders for these flights.
in this case, neither SK or OS have to worry about less profitable service and can operate their fleets on the most profitable routes, major gateways to the states and in asia, whereas LH, which naturally brings the most consumers, could offer daily service to cities which OS or SK would only serve 2-3x a week, thus reducing costs and offering the traveler a nice variety of travel choices.

rgds
daniel



If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
User currently offlineMD-87ER From Austria, joined Aug 2001, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1704 times:

LH taking over OS?
I think there is too much speculating going on. Even if LH buys the 10% of SR, I wouldn`t consider this as a "take-over" (as SR was also not controlling OS with this 10%). If Austrian agrees on a take-over, that would be to easy. They should stand up and work for their company. The OS-Group Product (each individual airline) is far too good, to be given up to the not-so-good LH.
To work closer together on technics, ok. But to become a second "Lufthansa City Lines" - I hope there is no way to that scenario.


User currently offlineAirblue From San Marino, joined May 2001, 1825 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1684 times:

MD-87ER,

in your answer there is a big truth that I experienced a lot of time: the Austrian and Lauda product (talking about board service, meals and quality of food, FAs, customer service) is really far better than LH.
That's possible I think cause OS group is very smaller than LH, so it's easier keep the quality.


User currently offlineMD-87ER From Austria, joined Aug 2001, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1672 times:

Airblue:
Yes, I was thinking of passenger service in a way you described it. There was an article on Tyrolean in the September-Issue of Airways Magazine, where they gave VO on an In-Flight Report 38.5 Points (max. possible 40) checking things like Aircraft seating, In-flight entertainment, flight attendants, meal service,...
I experienced simmilar good service on several trips with OS, NG and VO to several destinations. Whereas on a VIE-FRA flight in Y on LH you only get a plastic-covered breadroll.


User currently offlineBove From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1663 times:

Does anyone agree with me that LH is becoming is becoming a monopoly carrier on the European continent?

For starters, 80% market share of the world's third largest economy. Also, the German Cartel Office apparently had nothing to say about LH buying into Eurowings. Now LH taking over OS?

I'm surprised the competition authorities have allowed the situation to get where it is and now LH wants to grow even more?

Nothing personal here, just want to get your opinions on this.


User currently offlineRickster From Austria, joined Dec 2000, 653 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1659 times:

I have no doubt that they will be sold sooner or later to LH somehow maybe just up to 20 - 24,75 % or so. Or Mr. Sörensen comes out as the wonderboy...really mixing things up there. Sure the product is better then it´s reputation. The onboard service even in Y is much better then on other airlines. Where else do people get warm breakfast/lunch or dinner on a 2 hr flight? Not talking about Grand Class wich is definately superb. But obviousley something goes wrong and doesnt work. Is it the location of the hub? The network? The alliance policy?

Regards Rickster


User currently offlineAir Taiwan From Australia, joined Dec 1999, 1518 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1658 times:

Actually Rickster...

Airlines here in Australia (with the exception of VirginBlue) all have hot brekkies and lunch and dinner on flights like SYD-MEL/BNE which are only 1hr25mins duration...

Also I believe bmi british midland also has hot meals onboard its MAN-LON flights...

I'm talking about Economy Class here...

About Biz Class... I had grilled salmon for main course (dinner) with salad and a dessert in Biz Class on Ansett Australia from Sydney to Brisbane 3 days before they went into administration... so there you go...

However I agree that airlines in Europe like LH/AF/IB might not provide service like this so I guess OS is considered quite good in Europe...

cheers
Jimmy


User currently offlineRickster From Austria, joined Dec 2000, 653 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1652 times:

Jimmy, ok - you´ve got me Wink/being sarcastic i´ve never been to Australia. I´ve compared the OS service to that from LH on flights between STG,MUC,TXL and VIE.
Cheers


User currently offlineJohnnybgoode From Germany, joined Jan 2001, 2187 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1623 times:

yes, it is absolutely true that LH seems to strive for a monopoly every move it takes.
although their were major concessions to make regarding the Eurowings deal, LH got through with it.
when Go first entered the MUC-STN market, LH offered fares which were far too low to make a profit, just to kick Go out of the market and then raise fares again.
and just today Jürgen Weber told the Wall Street Journal that he filed a complaint that US carriers are using their current financial aid to reduce fares on north-atlantic routes, leaving the european carriers in a situation in which they cannot compete, which is actually the very same thing LH did with Go.
so if it suits LH´s interests, LH´s turns the truth as much as it needs it.

additionally, i totally agree that it would be a shame if OS´s and NG´s hospitality and service would suffer or be lost if taken over by LH some time.
i´ve never flown OS, but i experienced NG´s service which is absolutely superb. compared to LH´s economy class (especially on longhauls) it´s ages better.
the only economy class i dislike more than LH´s is AA´s economy.
however, i´m pretty fond of LH´s business class (best chocolates worldwide!!!!!!  Wink/being sarcastic ).

cheers
daniel



If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
User currently offlineRickster From Austria, joined Dec 2000, 653 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1597 times:

Daniel, we grew up here in Europe with state monopolies. Didn´t state owned/controlled companies tried to kick every compeditor out of the market? The "flag carriers" are still operating like monopoly airlines. That has not changed that much since privatization started. Within Europe one the most profitable markets is Germany, also for Austrian Airlines, as well as for other carriers. So LH will try whatever they can to win the battle on the home market. Austria is somehow part of LH´s home market like Germany for Austrian Airlines. When Austrian Airlines left Qualiflyer and started talks with Air France and Delta wich have seemed to be very serious, LH pressurized OS that much only "thinking" of dumping prices. In "Oberlaa" (OS-Headquarters in Vienna) there was no other way then choosing Star. Btw. LH is running it´s own sales area in the OS town office Vienna since they joined Star.
Regards Rickster



User currently offlineAirblue From San Marino, joined May 2001, 1825 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1589 times:

I agree that LH seem becoming a monopoly carrier, expecially in its domestic market.
Strange and funny to say, but today in Spain and Italy (that were two country famous for their monopoly carrier IB and AZ) there is more competition than in the German market.
Unbeliveable!!!


User currently offlineJohnnybgoode From Germany, joined Jan 2001, 2187 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1576 times:

i think one of the main reasons why in spain and italy additional domestic carriers are more succesful than in germany is due the fact that in those countries overall wages and costs are lower, making it easier for new companies tu return a profit, and IB and AZ are financially weaker than the likes of LH, AF.

rgds
daniel



If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
User currently offlineCroFlight From Croatia, joined Jul 2001, 275 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1556 times:

The same situation here, in Croatia... National airline "Croatia" is very well protected by the government, which can be understood if you know that the government is a guarantee for all the debts of OU. The new Airbus fleet was bought with government's money.
There are few smaller airlines beside OU, but not worth mentioning.

CroFlight


User currently offlineBicoastal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1552 times:

This is my post in another thread, but it applies here as well:

Economic integration within the European Union and the elimination of trade barriers and border controls means there have been and will be many social, cultural and economic changes. There seems to be too many European airlines for efficient economies of scale and efficient operations, especially without the state subsidies they have historically enjoyed. It seems if there are going to be mergers and consolidations of the airlines, they should also change their names and "re-brand" so that it won't appear that one country's airline "beat" those that have been taken over. Given the historical wars and battles on the continent and the biases of many Europeans against other Europeans in other countries, this might remind people of those historic differences. The stronger airlines like Lufthansa, Air France and British Airways, might find more acceptance within the countries of their acquisitions if they "re-branded" and stressed their europeanness and not their own country's culture and values.
Suggested names...? European Airlines, EU Air, Unity Airways??


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