Hannes Richter

50 Years of Austrian Airlines

Hannes Richter

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Austrian Airlines. Its very first flight left Vienna for London in 1958 and was soon followed by scheduled services to other major European cities.
Austria’s successful aviation goes back to the 1920s when the Österreichische Luftverkehrs A.G. (ÖLAG) began operating and ultimately became one of the leading carriers in Europe. After WW II two new airlines “Air Austria” and “Austrian Airways” were founded and launched flight operations after merging under the name “Austrian Airlines,” followed by 50 years of successful aviation. With the number of passengers increasing over the years (from 25,567 in 1958 to 10.8 million last year), Austrian Airlines has tried to maintain and strengthen its reputation as a quality carrier, transporting Austrian values such as hospitality and charm around the world. Also, Austrian Airlines has always placed special focus on providing connections to cities in the former Eastern bloc, making it the market leader in Central and Eastern Europe today. This strategy has helped to position Vienna’s International Airport as a major hub for East-West air transport.