Austrian Airlines celebrates 60th anniversary

The company “Austrian Airlines Österreichische Luftverkehrs Aktiengesellschaft” was founded on March 31, 1958. On May 15, 2018, the red-white-red flag carrier celebrated the 60th anniversary of its operations in the Austrian Technik hangar at Vienna Airport together with customers, employees, business partners, political decision makers and its own family (Lufthansa Group). The list of guests of honor was led by Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology Norbert Hofer and Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr. The Federal Chancellor and his host, Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky, named the latest Boeing 777 long-haul aircraft “Sibanye“. It is a South African word and means “We are one“. The additional long-haul aircraft should be deployed for the new destination Cape Town in South Africa departing from October 2018 as well as for flights to Tokyo throughout the summer. 

“Over the decades Austrian Airlines has emerged as an Austrian flagship company and an important ambassador of our country. Each day Austrian Airlines carries our red-white-red culture and hospitality throughout the world and brings millions of guests to our country. It is wonderful to have this privilege to see that ‘our AUA’ can celebrate and also grow again“, says Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology Norbert Hofer also conveys his best wishes on the airline’s birthday. ”I also wish Austrian Airlines all the best on its 60th anniversary of its founding. Austrian Airlines is an important employer in the eastern part of Austria and a driver of the domestic economy and tourism. The third runway at Vienna Airport will provide Austrian Airlines with further development and growth opportunities.” 

The airline is already predestined to grow further in 2018. Austrian Airlines received an additional long-haul aircraft in time for the festivities. “The added Boeing 777 will transport about 150,000 passengers per year“, says Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky. Approximately 150 employees are necessary to operate such an aircraft. The Boeing 777 with the registration OE-LPF was officially inaugurated during the festivities by Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and given the name “Sibanye“. South African schoolchildren at the iThemba Primary School in Cape Town proposed this name. The school is supported by the Help Alliance, the aid organization of the Lufthansa Group. 

On the occasion of the airline’s 60th birthday, “Sibanye” has been fitted out with a special labeling. A disproportionately large “60” can be seen on the right side in the flight direction, and two people in flying postures are depicted on both sides. The flying posture is derived from the 60th anniversary campaign of Austrian Airlines. In this context, Austrian Airlines employees are shown as if they were flying in line with the motto “Austria is flying.” The number 60 and the four figures on the Boeing 777 are comprised of about 2,300 individual images of Austrian Airlines employees, thus putting a face on the Boeing 777. 

Photos: Daniel Egger & Michèle Pauty