Austrian Airlines has asked civil aviation authorities in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain to allow direct flights from Vienna, the company has said.
"We are seeing an increase in tourists, as well as business travellers, from the Gulf to Vienna. By next summer, we expect to get rights to fly to Abu Dhabi and Bahrain" said Dennis Irwin, a sales executive with Austrian Airlines, Dubai office.
"We carried about 40,000 passengers so far this year, compared to 30,000 passengers last year" he said.
In 2003 alone there were around 70,000 tourist arrivals from the Arab world in Austria.
That is a 35 per cent increase over 2003, said Erika Nowak, Marketing and Media Manager in the Vienna Tourism Office.