Austrian Airlines has reported, once again, negative financial numbers from the first quarter of 2019. In comparison with the same period last year, Austrian Airlines has disclosed an even deeper net-loss rising from EUR73 million to EUR99 million.
The carrier has blamed the unsatisfactory figures on increased competition from its hub at Vienna International Airport in addition to rising fuel and maintenance costs.
CFO Wolfgang Jani told Air Transport World in Montreal during celebrations for the inaugural flight from Vienna earlier today (April 30): “The first quarter shows a mixed picture. We are happy about the passenger increase of 180,000 additional passengers, but we have effects on the cost and earnings side.”
Overall expenses amounted to EUR502 million.“Our Embraer fleet needed additional engine maintenance. Also, five former airberlin Airbus A320s, which are now in our fleet, had major engine events that resulted in €11 million in higher maintenance costs in the first quarter,” the CFO continued to Air Transport World.
Jani also noted the increase in competition, mainly through low cost carriers: “The price war in Vienna has now broken out. We have seen revenue decline on European routes.”
“We anticipate a difficult year overall in 2019. We will continue to be profitable, but considerably below the previous year,” said the CFO, concluding the talk with Air Transport World.
Austrian Airlines’ loss follows that of owners Lufthansa Group who reported a combined net loss of EUR342 million for the first quarter.