What damage do KV disputes and strikes cause?

AUA's offer has not changed. Board employees are getting an 18 percent raise, including eight percent this year and five percent each in 2025 and 2026. The flight crew rejects this. Controversy over money after the 20th round of KV talks has a negative impact on AUA's balance sheet.

Uncertainty

“The longer this conflict goes on, the more confidence AUA will lose among passengers,” aviation expert Kurt Hoffman tells the Courier. “Austrian Airlines has tens of millions of euros less revenue due to passenger uncertainty. When an airline deals with such problems and strikes, people turn to their competitors.” Addition: “It takes too long and it damages the AUA.” The airline has a lot of competition in Vienna, including low-cost airlines. Ryanair (Lauda), Wizz Air and Eurowings, as well as Turkish Airlines, Emirates and Air France-KLM.

“Increasing AUA's salaries to Lufthansa levels is unaffordable for AUA,” says the expert. “AUA has always had a good position because it is more efficient and punctual and the Vienna hub performs well compared to other Lufthansa hubs. It also has a cost advantage that is offset by higher salaries.

Not much purpose

It is not unusual that the first quarter of 2024 saw a greater loss in AUA and was due to winter. “The first quarter is always difficult for airlines in Europe. They make more money in the second and third quarters,” says the airline consultant. “Vienna is a very touristic market, and the AUA has a great cost structure to deal with that so far. There's not much scope.”

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At worst, AUA will shrink and feeder routes to the Vienna hub will be cancelled. AUA has a problem with long distance transportation.

“But the decision will be made at Lufthansa in Frankfurt,” says Hoffmann. “If AUA succeeds as an airline affiliated with Lufthansa, that will say more. If it doesn't, Frankfurt will not make any more flights available.” Addendum: “Airlines in the Lufthansa network only go where money is stable.”

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