DHL Express welcomes a new family member to support its European air cargo network. DHL Air Austria, registration OE-LNZ, landed at Vienna International Airport yesterday (08NOV21), having departed Linz on its first official flight, heralding the start of a positive domino effect for the country.
“Servus Austria” – the local way to say hello in Austria – is the message emblazoned on the first DHL Air Austria aircraft to land at Vienna. The new airline was born after just nine months; from the start of the project in FEB21 to the issuance of the AOC (Air Operator Certificate) and OL (Operating License) on 18OCT21, to the inauguration flight on 08NOV21. A record achievement as Barbara Achleitner, Managing Director of DHL Air Austria, pointed out, thanking all involved for their exemplary contribution: “The establishment of DHL Express' first Austrian airline and the receipt of all licenses is a historic moment for all of us. The efficient implementation of this important milestone would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our team and especially without the great support of the responsible ministry as well as Austro Control.”
Planes and praise…
DHL Air Austria’s inauguration flight to its Vienna Airport headquarters, was attended by a number of VIPs such as the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology and Austro Control. It also spelled the maiden flight of the first of three Austrian-registered Boeing 757, part of a fleet that will eventually number 18 B757 aircraft by early 2022.
Dr. Magnus Brunner, State Secretary for Aviation, announced “The new airline DHL Air Austria is an important strengthening for our aviation industry and the domestic economy. This location decision for Austria is a strong signal for our country.” Dr. Valerie Hackl, Managing Director of Austro Control, praised the quality of service in Austria’s aviation authorities: “I am particularly pleased that with DHL Air Austria we can welcome another airline on the Austrian Aircraft Registry. I would like to thank DHL Express for the good and professional cooperation, which made it possible to complete this process so quickly and efficiently. It is also a sign of the high quality of our aviation authorities and a consequence of the high service quality we offer our customers on a daily basis that more and more renowned airlines are finding their way to Austria. We have earned this excellent international reputation in recent years, and we intend to continue along this path in the future as a modern and service-oriented aviation authority.”
…and pilots, positions, and plans
18 aircraft operating on DHL’s European cargo network, means the need for 176 pilots, as well as the creation of 54 new positions at the Vienna base in order to manage the airline's daily operations; from crew scheduling and flight planning to crew training. They will be responsible for safety, quality, compliance, and aircraft maintenance planning. It is befitting that a new airline and new team also get new office space: By the first quarter of 2022, the new DHL Air Austria team will have moved into their location at the airport’s youngest facility: Office Park 4 - one of the most modern and sustainable office buildings at the airport.
It is no coincidence that the first aircraft’s registration is LNZ – the airport code for Linz, Austria. DHL Express, which has operated out of Austria since the past 41 years, established a state-of-the-art Express center there, 2 years ago – the largest investment the company had made to date in the country. The inauguration flight therefore took off from Linz to Vienna (and back) on 08NOV21, and has since then continued its usual operations between Leipzig, Cologne, and Brno.
The 18 aircraft that will now fly under the Austrian flag, were previously registered in the UK until Brexit led to a change in structure. At the time, a number of alternative European locations were considered, until the decision fell in favor of Austria – chosen not only for its good economic conditions and (at the time) stable political situation, but mainly for its excellent geographical location.
"With this important step, we are on the one hand making our air cargo network in Europe more flexible and stable, while at the same time continuing to serve our customers' high demand for cross-border express deliveries and being able to provide them with sufficient capacity," Ralf Schweighöfer, CEO of DHL Express Austria, concluded.
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