Austrian Airlines considers applying for the local government’s assistance or the European Commission’s Public Service Obligation (PSO) to support loss-making domestic routes.

“The instrument of the Public Service Obligation is being used in economically difficult cases, but infrastructurally necessary connections in other countries already,” Austrian Airlines’ spokesperson, Leonhard Steinmann told AeroTime. “We regard this instrument as a veritable option for domestic routes as well,” Steinmann added.

Austrian Airlines operates four routes within Austria. From its hub in Vienna, the airline flies to Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, and Klagenfurt.

Austria’s flag carrier announced its new strategy called #DriveTo25 in January 2019. The company plans to expand its Vienna hub. 

“At the same time, this should also be considered as a clear challenge to the increasingly tough competition in Vienna, and we are prepared to take further steps to defend our position at our flight hub in Vienna”, the new Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech declared.

The airline currently operates 18 Dash 8-400 turboprops and 36 Airbus A320 jets. As per #DriveTo25 plan, the carrier is to replace 18 Dash 8-400 turboprops with Airbus A320s by 2021.

“We will invest more than EUR 200 million in the expansion of our continental fleet and thus be able to significantly strengthen our position in Vienna”, he added.