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Published on : Thursday, October 31, 2013
Austrian Airlines has clearly improved the operating profit in the first nine months of the year (before one-time effects) by €10.3 million to €19.4 million. This increase was primarily achieved on the cost side and also includes savings from the merger of the flight operations of Tyrolean and Austrian. In total, €220 million in gross profit improvements were sustainably raised in the first year of the restructuring programme.
Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht: “Austrian Airlines is well on track. The restructuring phase will be followed by the planned development of the intercontinental business.” Synergies from the merger of the engineering and flight operations administration as well as the expansion of long-haul routes should deliver an additional €40 million improvement in gross profit in years 2 and 3. The expansion phase also includes the appointment of around 230 new flight attendants with the operation of an additional long-haul aircraft starting in summer 2014. Recruitment of the staff has already commenced.
In contrast, further savings are being made in the area of administration: The merger of the engineering and flight operations administration of Tyrolean Airways and Austrian Airlines should be completed in 2014 and, as already announced last year, result in a reduction of up to 150 positions. The merger of flight operations and administration has seen the removal of four areas, including the duplicated areas of Cabin, Cockpit, Flight Ops Administration and Head Office Administration at Tyrolean and Austrian.
The merger also includes combining the air traffic control centres at the two locations in Innsbruck and Vienna at the hub in Vienna. In the area of technical maintenance, the so-called “Part M” or support functions, such as engineering, planning and control, will be combined in Vienna. Technical maintenance of the fleets will continue to be performed at different locations. The maintenance of the Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft will be performed in Innsbruck, the Airbus and Boeing aircraft will be maintained in Vienna, and Bratislava is the location for the overhaul of the Fokker fleet.
Jaan Albrecht: “Unfortunately, we don’t have any choice. We must make our organisation more efficient and remove duplications across the Group – above all the organisational duplications that have existed for years.” The result as at 30 September 2013 in detail:
Operational expenditure was reduced in the first nine months of the year by €74 million or 4.3 percent from €1,722 million to €1,648 million. Total operational revenue fell in the first nine months of 2013 by 3.7 percent to €1,667 million (2012: €1,731 million). The operating profit as at 30 September 2013 amounted to €19.4 million. In the previous year, the transfer of flight operations to Tyrolean Airways significantly increased the profit by €67.5 million.
The subsequent application of the new accounting standards IAS 19R increased this one-off effect by an additional €134.4 million (see table of figures for details). Fewer aircraft in service, but better load factors Austrian Airlines carried 8.6 million passengers in the first nine months of 2013. This corresponds to a slight reduction of 1.8 percent compared to the previous year. The reason: Austrian has removed four aircraft from its medium-haul fleet. In addition, up to two fewer long-haul aircraft were deployed due to the retrofit of the cabins.
Capacity expressed in available seat kilometres (ASK) was reduced by 4.5 percent. However, Austrian Airlines improved its load factor to 78.8 percent (2012: 77.7 percent). In total, Austrian operated 102,768 flights in the first three quarters of the current year, or 376 flights a day on average. The headcount of the Austrian Airlines Group including its fully consolidated subsidiaries was 6,222 employees on the reporting date of 30 September 2013 (30 September 2012: 6,320 employees). Austrian Airlines continues to achieve excellent figures in terms of reliability and punctuality. With a departure punctuality rate of 88.6 percent, Austrian Airlines’ figures continued to be better than the European average. Regularity stood at 98.9 percent. This makes Austrian Airlines one of the most punctual and reliable airlines in the world.
The schedule to North America will be significantly expanded overall: From 1 July, the new Boeing 777 will fly daily to Washington, adding around 90 seats per flight to the seat capacity. Depending on the configuration, the Boeing 777 offers space for about 310 passengers, while the Boeing 767 has 220 seats. And Newark, New Jersey, will also be added as a new destination. The newly introduced Vienna-Chicago-Vienna route will be increased from 5x weekly to daily flights from summer 2014.
“The expansion will also have an impact on passenger numbers and the bottom line. We are expecting about 130,000 additional passengers in 2014,” says Albrecht. Outlook: Profit in the low double-digit millions for the full year Austria’s biggest domestic airline remains confident about the full year 2013: “We want to end the year with an operating profit in the double-digit millions on the balance sheet, in the black, of course,” concludes Albrecht. The last time Austrian Airlines was in the black was in 2007.
Source: Austrian Airlines