Here is a story I am posting directly from the Airline Business/Global Flight meeting here in Vienna where some 250 experts from the frequent flier side of this industry have gathered.
Newly appointed joint leader of troubled Austrian Airlines Andreas Bierwirth, looking pretty bright considering he'd been in an emergency board meeting the day before until 2130, took us through the airline's survival strategy.
Austrian working to late summer deadline for Lufthansa takeover approval
Vienna, 10 February 2009: Austrian Airlines is putting in place a series of emergency cost-cutting measures to ensure it can survive until the second half of the year when its take over by Lufthansa is expected to be finalised.
"Yes we will survive but not independently - ours is not a future as a stand alone carrier," said Andreas Bierwirth, board member and chief commercial officer of Austrian Airlines, speaking today at the Loyalty 2009 conference organised by
Management's task is to ensure the airline has enough cash to remain viable until the take over is approved in the August-September timeframe by the European Commission, said Bierwirth. "We are convinced we will do it," he said. Lufthansa was selected as the strategic partner for Austrian in November.
"We want to save in the short-term about €220 million, half from production cuts," said Bierwirth. Another €50 million will come from staff salary cuts. The target is for a 5% cut in staff salaries across the airline with management taking a 7.5% cut, he said.
Austrian is also having talks with its suppliers for cost cuts. "There is for example