AUA Cargo is focusing on eastern traffic

Severe losses forced the Austrian national carrier to reduce its fl eet and restructure its intercontinental network. As a consequence the results now look somehow brighter, also because AUA Cargo contributes to the turnaround by delivering solid black figures.

There is light at the end of Austrian Airlines’ long lasting tunnel with losses being reduced from 50.1 million euros in 2005 to 19 million euros last year. By 2009 the group that consists of AUA, Lauda Air and Austrian Arrows shall be profi table, predicted CEO Alfred Oetsch while presenting the latest fi gures for fi scal 2006. If so, it would turn out to be almost a miracle since the Vienna-based carrier – at least up to now – notoriouslyreported severe defi cits year by year.

The main reason for the foreseeable turnaround is the change of philosophy and thus of strategy the new management has decided on. The core message of former Siemens manager Alfred Oetsch, who now is heading the AUA group, had to hammer into the heads of his 8,500 AUA workforce was the bold fact that the airline is no longer a major player that can compete successfully with the big boys on intercontinentaltrunk routes.

“We have to give up this illusion and step a bit back by concentrating on secondary markets, and thereby on those niches with lasting revenue potential and less intensive competition,” emphasized Oetsch in a recent statement.