Financial results for the first quarter of the year in detail: Austrian Airlines announces second worst Q1 result in company history after labour disputes – now full steam ahead towards summer

  • First quarter of 2024: Adjusted EBIT at EUR -122 million
  • 2.5 million passengers travelled with Austrian Airlines
  • Three new destinations added to the summer schedule 
  • CEO Annette Mann: “Following the successful agreement on a new collective labour agreement until the end of 2026, we will now do everything we can to win back the trust of our passengers.”

Austrian Airlines announces the second-worst Q1 result in the airline’s history. The main reasons for the high loss are the direct financial damage caused by the works council meetings and strikes, the resulting restraints in bookings and a disproportionately high increase in location and personnel costs compared to other EU countries. Last week, a consensus was reached with the vida union and the board works council on the collective agreement for flying personnel until the end of 2026. The agreement will be set to vote by the vida union, which has issued a clear recommendation for approval. The vote will run until Wednesday, 1 May 2024.

The result for the first quarter in detail

The first quarter is traditionally the weakest in a financial year for Austrian Airlines. At EUR 403 million, revenue this year was almost on par with the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2023: EUR 400 million), albeit with 11 per cent higher production. Total expenses rose by 11 per cent to EUR 538 million in the same period (Q1 2023: EUR 486 million), although fuel expenses fell by two per cent compared to the first quarter of 2023. At EUR -122 million, Adjusted EBIT was 67 per cent lower than in the same quarter of the previous year (Q1 2023: EUR -73 million). Austrian Airlines thus posted the second-worst result in its company history in a first quarter of the year.

CEO Annette Mann: “We had expected a slightly weaker result than in the previous year due to our growth and the phase-in costs for the introduction of two new long-haul aircraft. However, this was then compounded by a loss of around 35 million due to the industrial action by the vida

union. This means that the operating profit margin of at least five per cent targeted for 2024 will probably not be achieved.” An operating profit margin of 5.4 per cent was reached in 2023; Austrian Airlines wanted to at least maintain this level in order to be able to finance upcoming investments. In the long term, the aim is to achieve a margin of 8 per cent in order to be able to further develop the location.

For the coming weeks and months, Annette Mann emphasizes: “We want to and must regain the trust of our passengers. This is our main focus at the moment. That’s why we want to finally impress again with our strengths of reliability, punctuality and hospitality on board.”

In the first quarter of 2024, Austrian Airlines increased passenger numbers by 11% to around 2.5 million (Q1 2023: around 2.3 million). Available seat-kilometres also rose by 11% to around 5.2 billion compared to the same period of the previous year (Q1 2023: 4.7 billion). The load factor decreased slightly in the first quarter of the year by -0.2 percentage points compared to 2023 to 77.0%.

As of 31 March 2024, Austrian Airlines employed 6,209 people, which corresponds to an increase in headcount of 8 per cent compared to 2023. This development is related to the expansion of the long-haul fleet.

Summer 2024: New long-haul destination Boston as a highlight

Three new destinations will be added to Austrian Airlines’ summer destination portfolio, which comprises more than 125 destinations. The first flights to Bremen and Tbilisi will take off in the beginning of May. At the beginning of July, Austrian Airlines will serve flights to Boston for the first time.

CCO Michael Trestl: “We are delighted to be able to offer three new destinations in our flight programme this year: Tbilisi, Bremen and Boston. We will also continue to expand our offer on existing routes, especially on the popular holiday destinations around the Mediterranean. This will ensure that we connect Austria with the world according to our guests’ needs.”

Climbing flight towards the peak season

With the summer season approaching, the guests’ trust is Austrian Airlines’ top priority. With an experienced team and the support of the seasonal travel assistants already deployed last year, operational reliability in flight operations is ensured in the best possible way. A top 3 position in the European punctuality ranking is once again the goal this year. As of May, the first Boeing 787-9 long-haul aircraft will start operations. The so-called Dreamliners will fully replace the current long-haul fleet by 2028. COO Francesco Sciortino: “We are ready for our Dreamliners. We started training

pilots on the new aircraft type weeks ago and have already completed the first test flights on short-haul routes. So nothing stands in the way for the aircraft entering into service on long-haul routes in mid-June.”

Overview of key facts and figures the first quarter 2024:

 1-3 20241-3 2023    Change YoY 2023
Revenue in € million403400+1%
Adj. total operating revenue in € million4154130%
Adj. total operating expenditures in € million538486+11%
Adjusted EBIT in € million-122-73-67%
EBIT in € million-124-73-70%
Passengers in thousands2,5122,254+11%
Available seat kilometers (ASK) in millions  5,1674,666+11%
Passenger load factor in %77.077.2-0.2pp
Number of flights22,24821,238+5%
Fleet size (fleet in operation)6763+4
Regularity of operation97.7%98.8%-1.1pp
Punctuality on departure87.2% 87.1%0.1pp
Punctuality on arrival91.2% 90.1%1.1pp

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