As it slowly recalibrates and ramps up its schedule, Austrian Airlines has added ten more leisure destinations to respond to the growing demand from European holidaymakers. Since August 1st, the carrier is back serving multiple destinations in Greece, Italy, and Spain, with two more routes to come in September.
Holidaymakers and pandemic-defiers have something to be happy about this week as Austrian Airlines has announced that it has added ten more holiday destinations back to its flight schedule.
Greece, Italy, and Spain
Since the beginning of August, the Lufthansa Group carrier is once more flying to Kalamata, Preveza, Skiathos, and Skiros in Greece, to Cagliari, Olbia, and Catania in Italy, and Ibiza in Spain. All flights are operated on Saturdays and Sundays.
From September, Austrian Airlines is adding two more Spanish destinations, flying to Gran Canaria and Tenerife in the Canary Islands. These flights will operate once a week on Saturdays only.
“Our charters from Austrian Holidays have already worked well in the past, especially in the summer. We are pleased that we can now further increase this offer in cooperation with our tourism partners in Austria”, Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto said in a statement seen by Simple Flying.
Schedule slowly increasing
The Austrian flag-carrier is busy ramping up its schedule. Just late last week, the airline announced the return of 15 routes, following the lifting of a 14-day landing ban introduced by the Austrian Government. These included flights to the Balkans, Egypt, the UK, Sweden, and Romania.
These destinations usually serve as feeder routes for the carrier’s wider European network. Now, travelers from these countries will be able to travel onward to the recently added leisure destinations via Vienna, something that has not been an easy feat with so many direct and connecting flights canceled.
Mid-July, Austrian announced its intentions to double its flight schedule by October, taking it up to 40% of its normal year-on-year operations. By September, it will be flying at 30% of standard capacity, adding another 10% the following month.
Back in the air for less than two months
There are certainly reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the recovery of short-haul commercial travel on the European continent. However, it is probably a good idea to take it slow when reintroducing routes, as Austria is doing, rather than having to backtrack and downsize schedules again if travel restrictions come back into force.
Furthermore, as the airline only began flying commercially again on June 15th after being grounded since March, it is understandable that it takes some time to reset and evaluate demand.
Meanwhile, the carrier also needs to get back into the swing of it as soon as possible as it will strive to repay the state-guaranteed bank loans amounting to €300 million. The funds, which were in addition to €150 million in direct state-aid and €100 million in capital injection from the Lufthansa Group, will need to be repaid by 2026.
Will you be going on holiday this year? Has it been difficult to find flight tickets?