The Historical past of Austrian Airways at JFK

  • by

1. Return to JFK:

Twenty years after Austrian Airways launched its authentic, however unsuccessful transatlantic service to New York–a joint operation with Sabena Belgian World Airways inaugurated on April 1, 1969 with a Boeing 707-320 registered OE-LBA that made an intermediate cease in Brussels-it returned to the US on March 26, 1989, this time with an Airbus A-310-300 sporting registration OE-LAA. The event not solely launched intercontinental service to its route system, however a widebody plane with its first three-class cabin configuration to its fleet. Not like the earlier try, this one proved profitable, however signaled the start of one other 20 years of elasticity, paved with quite a few plane sorts, airline alliances and methods, terminals, dealing with firms, and pc programs. That is its story.

  1. JFK Station Evolution:

Preliminary coaching, held at Austrian Airways’ North American headquarters in Whitestone, New York, and taught by Peter “Luigi” Huebner, commenced on February 6, 1989, or six weeks earlier than the inaugural flight, and its curriculum included “Passenger Dealing with I” and “Adios Test-In” programs.

Austrian Airways’ first JFK location, the East Wing of the no-longer-existent Worldwide Arrivals Constructing, was a shared facility with Icelandair and encompassed 5 Austrian-specific check-in counters geared up with computer systems, automated boarding cross printers, and laser-scannable baggage tag printers, and the jointly-used, higher stage Icelandair Saga Lounge.

Fully employed and educated by Austrian and outfitted in its uniform, its employees carried out all floor operations capabilities: Passenger Service, Ticket Gross sales-Reservations, Misplaced-and-Discovered, Load Management, Administration, Supervision, and Administration, whereas Icelandair personnel served on the ramp, overseeing plane servicing and baggage, cargo, and mail loading.

Nevertheless, the success of the operation relied upon the tools that serviced it and it was solely Airbus Industrie’s resolution to supply a shorter-fuselage, lower-capacity model of its signature A-300 that made the reinstated transatlantic operation potential with the A-310.

This long-range, twin-engine, widebody design, of concurrent expertise, supplied the identical vary and dual-aisle consolation because the comparable quad-engine 747 or the tri-engine DC-10 and L-1011, but on the identical time supplied decreased capability to facilitate worthwhile, year-round operations. Due to Austrian’s market dimension, the bigger 747, DC-10, or L-1011 would in any other case have operated at a loss outdoors of the height summer time journey season. Any of the opposite then long-range plane, inclusive of the Boeing 707 and the McDonnell-Douglas DC-8, featured older-generation, fuel-thirsty, four-engine Stage 1 expertise of the early-1960s and would have been banned from US service except that they had been hush-kited or altogether engine-retrofitted. The very A-310 made Austrian Airways’ lengthy, skinny Vienna-New York route sector potential.

The preliminary 1989 timetable supplied six weekly frequencies through the summer time and 5 within the winter, at which period two A-310-300s served New York and Tokyo, the latter with an intermediate cease in Moscow. Alternatively, additionally they augmented the longer-range routes, similar to these to Tel Aviv, Istanbul, and Teheran.

Throughout the first six months of JFK operations, an plane by no means skilled an extreme delay due to scheduling, leading to exemplary on-time efficiency.

In-flight service naturally represented a big portion of an airline’s expenditure. In consequence, many carriers started to cut back this with a view to lower prices. Austrian Airways, nonetheless, remained distinctive in a world aloft characterised by snacks and paper cups by offering printed menus, amenity kits, china service, complimentary alcoholic drinks, and earphones within the coach cabins of its transatlantic flights to and from Vienna.

Due to the A-310’s quick fuselage, nonetheless, lower-deck cargo house was restricted, with the ahead maintain normally accommodating baggage unit load gadgets (ULDs) and the aft the cargo itself, which was usually restricted to 2 pallets and a single AKE unit.

Though load elements on the New York-Vienna sector had been initially low, they steadily elevated till a lot of the flights had been full. Giant tour teams constituted an growing portion of the passenger combine, together with the anticipated connecting passengers, who had been capable of reap the benefits of the increasing Vienna hub. It was the last word testomony to a service when a passenger selected to fly with it and make a connection at its dwelling airport versus touring nonstop with a nationwide service.

As a “second try” throughout the Atlantic, Austrian Airline’s intercontinental A-310 service to New York was in the end profitable.

With the acquisition of its third A-310-300, registered OE-LAC, Austrian Airways contemplated service to a second US gateway by the spring of 1991, similar to to Los Angeles, however the A-310-300’s 11-hour flight period precluded this actuality. Though Chicago was alternatively thought-about, American’s personal nonstop Boeing 767-200ER service to Vienna would have resulted in prohibitive competitors, since O’Hare was its second-largest hub, leaving Washington-Dulles as the one viable different.

For the European continental community, the next gross weight McDonnell-Douglas MD-83 was ordered for supply in 1991 and a number of other present MD-81s had been transformed to this commonplace, growing their vary and payload capabilities. Two further Fokker F.50s had been additionally ordered for home and lengthy, skinny worldwide routes.

Throughout the five-year interval from 1989 to 1994, Austrian Airways independently operated at JFK, providing as few as 4 weekly departures through the winter and as many as seven through the summer time.

  1. Delta Air Traces Code Share:

Altering market circumstances prompted a modified technique at JFK for Austrian. Looking for to align itself with a US home service with a view to receive feed for its transatlantic flights, for instance, it concluded a advertising and marketing settlement with Delta Air Traces in 1994, during which it positioned its two-letter “OS” code on Delta-operated flights, whereas Delta itself reciprocally positioned its personal “DL” designator on Austrian’s providers. Two Delta flight attendants, sporting their firm’s uniforms, initially additionally served within the cabins of its A-310s to and from Vienna.

Though the idea’s monetary profit was gradual to materialize, the plane in the end achieved excessive load elements, carrying each Austrian and Delta passengers from some two dozen US cities via New York to Vienna, usually with beyond-travel.

With a view to scale back ground-handling prices and attain synergistic, inter-carrier advantages, Austrian Airways relocated its operation to Delta Terminal 1A (later redesignated Terminal 2) on July 1, 1994, retaining solely 9 of its authentic 21 employees members. Delta Air Traces, the newly-designated ground-handling service, assumed arrivals, lost-and-found, passenger check-in, departure gate, ramp, and baggage room tasks, whereas Austrian itself continued to carry out its personal ticketing, load management, administration, supervision, and administration capabilities.

1994 additionally marked the acquisition of two long-range, quad-engine A-340-200s configured for 36 enterprise and 227 financial system class passengers and registered OE-LAG and OE-LAH. They periodically served New York all through the following decade.

Yet one more change occurred three years later, between February of 1997 and 1998, when it relocated its check-in counters and operational workplace to Delta Terminal 3, however in any other case remained in the identical advertising and marketing alliance.

The 12 months additionally marked the primary time that the transatlantic path to New York had sufficiently matured to help a second departure on chosen days through the summer time timetable, with this extra flight arriving at 2045 and redeparting at 2205. Often operated by plane OE-LAC, an A-310 with a decreased enterprise, however higher-capacity financial system part, it facilitated connections with the noon financial institution of exits from Vienna.

  1. Atlantic Excellence:

As soon as once more yielding to airline deregulation-necessitated realignment and trying to realize further cost-reducing synergies, Austrian Airways built-in its JFK operations with Sabena Belgian World Airways and Swissair on March 1, 1998, forming the tri-carrier Atlantic Excellence Alliance. Though the workers of all three airways continued to put on their respective uniforms, they operated from single passenger service and cargo management workplaces, using a joint Austrian, Sabena, and Swissair check-in facility, and dealt with one another’s flights.

Throughout the peak summer time season, seven each day departures operated by 4 airways had been supplied, inclusive of two to Vienna with Austrian Airways, two to Brussels with Delta and Sabena, one to Geneva with Swissair, and two to Zurich, additionally with Swissair.

Eight capabilities had been carried out on the Atlantic Excellence station, together with Management, Arrivals, Departures, VIP/Particular Companies, Ticket Gross sales-Reservations, Load Management, Ramp Supervision, and Bother Taking pictures. As a result of Swissair was contracted to organize load sheets for Malev-Hungarian Airways’ flights to Budapest, the Load Management perform itself entailed dealing with six plane types-747-300s, A-340-200/-300s, MD-11s, A-330-200s, 767-200ERs, and A-310-300s-often requiring inter-carrier coaching programs.

As had singularly occurred with Austrian Airways, Delta equally concluded reciprocal two-letter code-share agreements with Sabena and Swissair, however now took the previous advertising and marketing association to full alliance standing at Delta’s significantly-maturing JFK flight hub. Delta nonetheless continued to supply ramp and baggage room capabilities for all three Atlantic Excellence airways.

In August of that 12 months, Austrian Airways took supply of the primary of 4 longer-range, higher-capacity A-330-200s, registered OE-LAM and configured for 30 enterprise and 235 financial system class passengers, and the kind in the end changed the A-310-300 as its intercontinental workhorse. The 4 plane, later working with a decreased, 24-seat enterprise cabin when the Grand Class idea was launched, sported registrations OE-LAM, OE-LAN, OE-LAO, and OE-LAP.

Throughout the summer time timetable of 1998, Austrian fielded its first dual-aircraft sort operation from JFK, with the primary departure standardly operated by the A-330 and the second by the A-310.

  1. Star Alliance:

Though an final “Swissport Resolution,” beneath which all Atlantic Excellence floor operations employees would have been transferred to the service supplier, was envisioned, the eventuality by no means occurred.

Rumors, rumbling via the station just like the mild forewarnings of a pending storm, pervaded the environment by mid-1999. A brand new technique appeared to loom on the horizon and its seeds, planted lengthy earlier than it bloomed, had been multi-faceted and omni-encompassing.

In June of 1999, Delta Air Traces and Air France had fashioned the elemental foundation of a brand new world alliance, which was later named SkyTeam, thus dissolving the 25-month Austrian/Delta/Sabena/Swissair Atlantic Excellence Alliance whose settlement, with out renegotiation, would have expired in August of 2000.

Regardless of a ten-percent funding limitation, Swissair had nonetheless tried to buy further Austrian Airways inventory, precluding Austrian’s aim of retaining its personal id and independence, and forcing it to withdraw from the Swissair-led Qualiflyer Alliance of European carriers.

Swissair and Sabena fashioned a mixed business administration construction, which once more proved counter to Austrian Airways’ impartial route.

Lastly, in early 2000, each Sabena and Swissair concluded code-share agreements with American Airways, a US airline-alignment that was counter to Austrian Airways’ technique of US feed.

As a small, however worthwhile worldwide service of appreciable high quality, Austrian Airways nonetheless wanted the attain of a worldwide alliance to stay worthwhile and thus concluded a membership settlement with the Lufthansa- and United-led Star Alliance, which grew to become efficient on March 26, 2000.

The biggest and longest-running alliance, it was then comprised of Air Canada, Air New Zealand, All Nippon, Ansett Australia, Austrian Airways, British Midland, Lauda Air, Lufthansa, Mexicana, SAS, Thai Airways Worldwide, Tyrolean, United, and Varig, and collectively carried 23-percent of the world’s passenger visitors. However, extra importantly, the choice facilitated continued impartial id and operation, but had the potential for growth. Expressed as a sentiment, the choice was acknowledged as, “Right here we develop once more!”

The transition from the Atlantic Excellence to the Star Alliance, commencing as early as January of 2000, entailed 4 integral modifications.

1). A completely new IT (info expertise) system and frequent flier program.

2). The operational relocation to a brand new terminal, passenger service workplace, passenger check-in counter, load control-aircraft dispatch middle, and gate at JFK.

3) New alliance airline code-share flights and visitors feed resulted within the closing of the Atlanta station and the following opening of the Chicago one and the reopening of the Washington one within the US.

4). The corporate-wide migration coaching in Oberlaa, Austria, location of Austrian Airways’ head workplace.

Star Alliance membership, as soon as once more entailing a relocation to Terminal One at JFK, prompted one other dealing with service change, this time from Delta to Lufthansa, which now carried out the Baggage Companies and Passenger Test-In capabilities, whereas Austrian itself continued to behave within the capacities of Arrivals, Ticketing, Load Management, Ramp Supervision, and Administration. Below a reciprocal settlement, it additionally offered these passenger providers to Lufthansa for its personal Frankfurt departures throughout non-operational hours. Plane loading and baggage room capabilities had been initially carried out by Hudson Normal, which was later renamed GlobeGround North America.

In an extra cost-reduction technique, Austrian Airways relocated to a smaller, reduced-cost Passenger Service workplace on the bottom ground of Terminal One in September of 2002, at which period the Load Management/Ramp Supervision perform was awarded to Lufthansa. Not serving Lufthansa’s flights, Austrian employees members additional dwindled, now to 6 full-time and two part-time positions, and the each day shift hours decreased from 9 to eight.

Austrian’s largest-capacity plane, the A-340-300–which accommodated 30 enterprise and 261 financial system class passengers–intermittently additionally offered service to JFK, significantly through the summer time 2002 timetable when a late Saturday departure was scheduled. Two such plane, registered OE-LAK and OE-LAL, now made up a part of the fleet.

  1. Swissport USA:

The continuous want to cut back prices resulted in yet one more handling-company change at JFK on January 1, 2003, when a lot of the floor providers had been transferred from Lufthansa to Swissport USA.

In preparation for the change, the Swissport passenger service employees attended the Information Test-In course in Vienna the earlier month, whereas one Swissport agent, who structured the Baggage Companies division, attended the World Tracer Fundamental course later within the 12 months, in October.

Outfitted in Austrian Airways uniforms, Swissport employees carried out the Arrivals, Misplaced-and-Discovered, Passenger Test-In, Departure Gate, Load Management, and Ramp Supervision capabilities, whereas Austrian itself continued to imagine Ticket Gross sales, Administration, Supervision, and Administration tasks.

Load management, which was initially carried out in Terminal Four utilizing the Swissair DCS system, was in the end transferred to Terminal One and the Lufthansa-WAB system after the Swissport operations personnel accomplished a computerized load management course in Vienna that March.

  1. North American Station Coaching Program:

As a result of a lot of the Swissport brokers had little earlier airline expertise and had been consequently unfamiliar with Austrian Airways’ merchandise and procedures, the writer created a neighborhood coaching program by drafting the course descriptions, writing the textbooks, devising the quizzes and exams, instructing the programs themselves, and subsequently issuing the coaching certificates with a view to extra adequately put together them to carry out their jobs.

This system, tracing its routes to the Austrian Airways Passenger Dealing with Course created in 1989 and the introductory Load Management coaching materials written in 1998, developed into the full-fledged North American Station Coaching Program, whose content material, up to date in accordance with plane, system, process, and alliance change, included the 4 integral curriculums of “Preliminary Passenger Service,” “Ramp Supervision Certification,” “Load Management Licensing,” and “Airline Administration.”

Finally encompassing 27 Passenger Service, Ramp Supervision, Load Management, Air Cargo, and Airline Station Administration procedural and coaching manuals, two station histories, and 28 curriculums, it resulted in 63 programs having been taught to Austrian Airways and Austrian Airways-handling carriers Delta, Lufthansa, Passenger Dealing with Companies/Maca, SAS, Servair, and Swissport on the eight North American stations of Atlanta, Cancun, Chicago, Montreal, New York, Punta Cana, Toronto, and Washington.

This system, which shortly developed into the equal of an “airline college” and was usually cited as the explanation why Swissport employees had been wanting to switch to the Austrian Airways account, proved instrumental of their profession paths, facilitating their promotions or acceptances by different airways.

  1. Boeing and Lauda Air to JFK:

JFK, hitherto completely served by Austrian Airways and its fleet of A-310, A-330, and A-340 Airbus widebody plane, acquired its first commonly scheduled Lauda Air 767 operation through the summer time of 2004, a service based by Components I race automobile driver Niki Lauda and thought of Austrian Airways’ competitor through the early a part of its historical past. However by the next 12 months its frequency quadrupled and through 2007 it altogether changed the 17-year Airbus service.

The summer time 2004 Lauda 767 flight, which operated as an addition to the each day Austrian frequency through the 11-week interval from June 26 to September 5, was scheduled to reach at 2055 on Saturday evenings and departed some 25 hours later at 2200 on Sunday.

With a view to put together the station for the extra service, native Boeing 767 Passenger Service and Boeing 767 Load Management programs had been created and taught to Swissport employees.

As a result of the Lufthansa technical staff didn’t maintain 767 licenses, its upkeep was contracted to Delta Air Traces, which operated all three -200, -300, and -400 sequence 767s, and an intensive night time cease and safety process was carried out earlier than plane push-back to the Terminal One hardstand, at which period safety seals had been utilized to all entry doorways. Off-loaded galley tools was washed and ready for the next night.

Due to the plane’s then 36-passenger Amadeus Class capability, the late departure was troublesome to promote within the enterprise cabin with out appreciable advertising and marketing promotion and fare discount, whereas cargo-pallet loading was door-dimensionally restricted to 4 positions within the ahead compartment. The plane themselves operated in a mix of Lauda Air and Star Alliance liveries.

Throughout the summer time 2005 timetable, from June 14 to September 2, the 767-300 offered as much as 4 further weekly frequencies, leading to a complete of 11, with the A-330 standardly working the early departure and the 767-300 the late one.

By 2007, the kind altogether changed the A-330 and A-340 fleets, however appeared with a number of configurations. Plane OE-LAE, -LAY, and -LAZ, for instance, accommodated 36 in enterprise and 189 in financial system, whereas these registered OE-LAX and -LAW respectively featured 30 and 200 seats. Plane OE-LAT, which supplied the best capability of the six, included ten extra seats than these latter two, for a 240-passenger coach complement.

  1. Centralized Load Management:

In late-2006, an idea referred to as the “Centralized Load Management” (CLC) System was launched at JFK, and the station, just like the nucleus of an atom, grew to become the core of all of it.

Brainchild of Michael Steinbuegl, then-JFK Station Supervisor, the process, following tendencies set by Swiss Worldwide in New York, Lufthansa in Cape City, and SAS in Bangkok, had its origins in an earlier investigative mission during which he explored value reductions by means of a giant, single Centralized Load Management division in Vienna or a number of regional ones. The latter, nonetheless, entailed language and time zone obstacles.

Having himself amassed appreciable expertise creating operational procedures and strategies as former Plane Dealing with Supervisor, he was nicely versed with weight and stability points.

Looking for to use this information and concurrently trying to rectify the system incompatibility and communication difficulties encountered with the SAS-Bangkok association in Washington, he tackled this station first, which, like JFK, already used the Lufthansa-WAB system. Within the course of, he set the course for the numerous transitions to return by making a number of obligation journeys to determine native station-compatible procedures after which drafting an in depth booklet regarding them. The primary centralized load sheet for the Washington flight, OS 094, was generated on November 1, 2006.

Charlie Schreiner, then head of Austrian Airways Load Management, subsequently marked the event by sending the next telex.

“With Austrian Airways Flight OS 094 on November 1,” he wrote, “our first line station had been related to a daily Centralized Load Management course of with ULD plane. All actions towards the operational flight preparation, load planning, ULD coordination, and WAB System documentation, inclusive of the load sheet transmitted to the cockpit through ACARs, had been efficiently managed by our JFK station yesterday.”

The rest of the CLC program, nonetheless, concerned phased implementation. In Might of the next 12 months, service was reinaugurated from Chicago. As a result of this might now be thought-about a “new” station, it logically adopted that its load sheet could be built-in into the CLC system from the beginning and, regardless of pc system variations, was efficiently tailored with the primary flight on Might 29 after procedural modifications.

With these cities being dealt with by JFK, it was determined to combine the final North American station, Toronto, whose first centralized load sheet was issued on July 1.

Three Austrian Airways-dedicated Load Controllers from Swissport, two of whom labored on a given day through the peak summer time season, fashioned the Centralized Load Management System crew.

Because the fourth station was built-in, JFK produced some 120 load sheets monthly, and the extremely profitable system yielded quite a few advantages.

Before everything, it produced appreciable financial savings. All flights departed on time relative to their load plan and cargo sheet preparations and all 4 North American flights had been operationally dealt with by just one extra each day Load Controller than JFK had employed for a single departure. All loading instruction reviews and cargo sheets had been moreover generated by the Lufthansa-WAB system, giving Vienna rapid entry to all load control-related knowledge and documentation.

  1. Boeing 777:

When Austrian Airways turned the web page of its winter 2008-2009 timetable on March 29, JFK fielded its first Boeing 777-200ER operation, the service’s largest capability plane and the fifth primary sort to have served New York after the A-310, the A-330, the A-340, and the 767.

The airplane, having initially been acquired by Lauda Air, was configured for 49 enterprise class and 258 coach passengers, though two later examples, which featured larger gross weights and modified passenger preparations, accommodated 260 financial system class passengers in ten-abreast, three-four-three, configurations.

Throughout the six-month interval between April and September of 2009, the one flight carried 34 % extra arriving and departing passengers, together with considerably elevated enhances of cargo and mail, than the comparable year-earlier interval, when the 767 was used. The 4 777s within the fleet had been registered OE-LPA, OE-LPB, OE-LPC, and OE-LPD.

  1. Lufthansa Acquisition:

2009 was a pivotal 12 months for Austrian Airways, each domestically and systemwide. Due to the worldwide financial downturn, escalating gasoline costs, eroding yields, and robust competitors inside Western Europe from low value carriers, its monetary viability and continued existence as an organization had been threatened, regardless of earlier methods that included promoting its A-330 and A-340 fleet, decreasing its long-range route system, and implementing a number of restructuring plans. Its savior, within the type of an settlement with Lufthansa-German Airways, enabled it to proceed working, because it assumed its debt and purchased nearly all of its shares.

On August 28, the European Fee formally authorized Lufthansa-German Airways’ acquisition of the Austrian Airways Group. Comprised of the 500 million euros from the acknowledged holding firm wanted for restructuring and the merger between the 2 carriers, the technique paved the best way for Austrian’s integration into the Lufthansa fold by September. With a view to obtain the required antitrust immunity, nonetheless, Lufthansa itself needed to conform to relinquish key flight slots and scale back the variety of providers between Vienna and Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, and Stuttgart.

For Austrian Airways, which might grow to be one in every of Lufthansa’s a number of impartial, European hub carriers, it signaled monetary survival, an improved financial basis, value synergies, similar to joint gasoline and plane buying, and entry to Lufthansa’s intensive worldwide gross sales and route community. The institution of Vienna as a high-performance hub for visitors feed to its new proprietor’s dense Central and Jap European route system was thought-about Austrian’s energy throughout the system.

Because of this possession, quite a few, basic North American modifications additionally occurred.

In Toronto and Washington, for instance, Lufthansa assumed all ground-handling points.

In New York, greater than half of the employees employed at its North American headquarters in Whitestone had been laid off, whereas its facility, positioned on the fifth ground of Octagon Plaza and thought of its “fortress” for nearly 1 / 4 of a century, was closed, with its remaining staff relocating to Lufthansa’s East Meadow, Lengthy Island, workplace.

At JFK itself, Austrian Airways Cargo equally relocated to the Lufthansa facility on November 1, and 16 days later Swissport handed the ground-handling torch to Lufthansa-German Airways.

Michael Steinbuegl, Supervisor of that station for 4 years, was promoted to Key Account Supervisor, North America, however 4 Ticket Gross sales-Reservation positions had been rendered redundant when Lufthansa assumed these capabilities, decreasing the Austrian Airways’ employees to simply two members, (the writer included), who acquired restricted, six-month contracts that expired on Might 15, 2010. Intermittently built-in into the Lufthansa operation and schedule, they dealt with their flights, whereas familiarizing Lufthansa staff with their very own procedures, however after this transition interval, had been equally launched from employment.

The final Austrian Airways “crimson uniform presence,” whether or not having been represented by purely Austrian Airways or Swissport employees, occurred on November 15, and the primary ground workplace in Terminal One, hitherto “dwelling” for the service’s Administration, Passenger Service, Centralized Load Management, Ticket Gross sales-Reservations, and Baggage Companies/Misplaced and Discovered Departments, was relinquished for 3 desks within the Lufthansa facility, two of which had been Obligation Supervisor stations positioned on the primary stage and one in every of which was reserved for the Key Account Supervisor place on the decrease stage within the Station Operations workplace.

All issues appear to return totally cycle. The occasion, successfully ending 21 years of autonomous Austrian Airways presence, marked the service’s return to its 1938 integration with Lufthansa and its 2000 ground-handling association at JFK.

  1. JFK Station Strengths:

In 2009, Austrian Airways operated 666 arriving and departing flights at JFK and carried 158,267 in- and outbound passengers, an 18.42-percent enhance over the year-earlier determine, whereas it operated 5,005 arriving and departing flights and carried 1,074,642 passengers through the seven-year interval, between 2003 and 2009, that Swissport USA assumed its ground-handling there.

JFK, having weathered a number of airline alliances, terminal areas, pc programs, dealing with firms, plane sorts, and an ever-decreasing variety of Austrian Airways personnel over its 21-year presence, successfully closed its doorways, the final of its North American stations to have finished so.

All through its greater than two-decade presence, it had dealt with 5 plane types–the Airbus A-310, the Airbus A-330, the Airbus A-340, the Boeing 767, and the Boeing 777; had assumed 4 strategies–its preliminary, impartial operation; the Delta Air Traces code share settlement; the tri-carrier Atlantic Excellence station; and the Star Alliance integration; had operated from 4 JFK terminals–Terminal One, Terminal Two, Terminal Three, and the Worldwide Arrivals Constructing; had been dealt with by three companies–Delta Air Traces, Lufthansa-German Airways, and Swissport USA; and had used two pc programs.

As a result of the abilities and skills of lots of its employees had been channeled to supply artistic and revolutionary outcomes over the last chapter of its existence, JFK had notched up a number of achievements, a few of which enabled it to play an more and more nucleic function inside North America. They are often subdivided as follows.

The North American Station Coaching Program, comprised of the Passenger Service, Ramp Supervision Certification, Load Management Licensing, and Administration disciplines, was instrumental within the instructional preparation of all entry-level staff, enabling them to carry out their designated capabilities with ample procedural information or climb the ladder all the best way to administration, in that case wanted. The textbooks and programs had been subsequently used to duplicate this success at Austrian Airways’ different North American stations.

The Centralized Load Management (CLC) Division, entailing the preparation of loading instruction/reviews and cargo sheets for the 4 North American stations of Chicago, New York, Toronto, and Washington, was extremely profitable and as soon as concerned 4 plane sorts: the Boeing 767, the Airbus A-330, the Airbus A-340, and the Boeing 777.

The Baggage Companies/Misplaced and Discovered Division, beneath the route of Omar Alli, served as a mannequin for different stations and earned a misplaced baggage score that grew to become the envy of them. Omar himself usually traveled to different stations with a view to present restructuring steerage for their very own Baggage Companies Departments.

The Ticket Gross sales-Reservations counter, beneath the route of Sidonie Shields, persistently collected important quantities of annual income in ticket gross sales, extra baggage, and different charges.

The seen presence of Austrian Airways, in crimson uniforms, to the passenger, whether or not worn by Austrian Airways or Swissport employees, cemented its id.

The a number of annual particular flights, which generally posed important challenges, however had been all the time efficiently executed, included these carrying the Rabbi Twersky group, the American Music Overseas group, the IMTX group, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and Life Ball, the latter with its high-profile celebrities, colourful characters, and pre-departure events.

The particular occasions, usually fostering a “household” environment amongst its personal and Swissport employees, included the annual “Yr in Evaluation” sequence, the Pocono Mountain ski journeys, the summer time pool events, the birthdays, the Thanksgiving dinners, and the Secret Santas at Christmas.

And, lastly, the each day briefings, jokes, laughs, raps, camaraderie, friendships, and human connections frequently emphasised and acknowledged the true souls behind everybody as they cohesively labored towards the airline’s and the station’s widespread targets.

Michael Steinbuegl, who assumed command as JFK Station Supervisor in September of 2005, had cultivated the surroundings and orchestrated the steps that had allowed each one in every of these accomplishments to be made.

  1. Two A long time of Elasticity:

Austrian Airways, hitherto among the many smallest European airways, needed to assume a substantial diploma of needed “elasticity” throughout its 21 years at JFK, ebbing and flowing with the ever-changing turbulence created by prevailing market circumstances, looking for monetary profit, synergistic energy, market area of interest, alliance realignment, and supreme change of possession. Defying Darwinian philosophy, whose “survival of the fittest” prediction is commonly translated as “survival of the biggest,” Austrian Airways had, regardless of quite a few, needed redirections, confirmed the opposite, maybe prompting a rewording of the philosophy to learn, “survival of the smallest,” if 4 quick phrases had been added-namely, “as a worldwide participant.”

Towards this finish, the newest technique enabled the service to outlive. For station JFK and its employees, nonetheless, it didn’t.


As a result of I had been employed by Austrian Airways two months earlier than its inaugural transatlantic flight from JFK occurred on March 26, 1989 and subsequently held a number of positions there all through its 21-year historical past, I felt singularly certified, as a lifetime aviation researcher, historian, and author, to protect its story in phrases. It’s, in essence, my story. It’s what I lived. And what I depart…

Source by Robert Waldvogel

Leave a Reply