Within the Lufthansa Group, the airlines Air Dolomiti and Austrian Airlines operate the Embraer 195 aircraft. For several years, the group has been trying to bring the in-flight products of its airlines closer together. On the E195 there are some significant differences between the daughters from Italy and Austria.
Similar to Lufthansa Cityline, Air Dolomiti operates from Munich and Frankfurt on many Lufthansa short-haul routes under LH flight numbers. However, numerous routes are also offered under the EN code of the Italian carrier. Even in the days of "Team Lufthansa" and "Lufthansa Regional", Air Dolomiti was always in the air in its own colors. Currently, 16 Embraer 195s are operated, with 120 seats.
The sister company Austrian Airlines has 17 machines of this type. These were taken over by sister company Lufthansa Cityline a few years ago and succeeded the aging Fokker70/100 fleet. Austrian Airlines has also equipped the Embraer 195 with 120 seats.
With Air Dolomiti, the Brazilian regional jet has 32 numbered rows, with Austrian Airlines, however, only 31. This difference is easily explained: For various reasons, row 13 does not exist with either carrier. At Air Dolomiti also the number 17, because in Italy this number combination is also considered an unlucky number.
Apart from the fact that Austrian Airlines and Air Dolomiti have different aircraft liveries, the most obvious difference is in the cabin design. The Austrian airline is dominated by the colors white-grey and red. At the Italian sister company white-grey and blue. The two airlines have also installed different seats. With Air Dolomiti, these are thinner, so that the subjectively perceived seat pitch appears larger than with Austrian Airlines. However, the difference here is less than a centimetre.
Italians with WLAN IFES
While the Italian airline relies on blue seat covers, Austrian Airlines uses gray. There are also differences in the area of the tables: these are very large at the AUA, while Air Dolomiti has opted for much smaller ones. The compartment, which also contains the safety card, is arranged vertically on Austrian Airlines and across on the Italian sister. However, the latter only applies if the latest generation of seats has already been installed. This is not currently the case for all Air Dolomiti Embraer 195s.
Neither airline has a classic in-flight entertainment system. Air Dolomiti offers passengers a closed WiFi network that does not have access to the Internet. This can be used to access newspapers, magazines, films and music titles free of charge. The Austrian sister does not have such an offer on the Embraer 195. On request, a spokeswoman explained, among other things, that Austrian Airlines is currently not considering retrofitting.
Different ways of dealing with free water
Both Lufthansa Group members rely on paid catering in economy class. Here there are serious differences in the offer, because Air Dolomiti sells the products on its own account and relies on a selection that is strongly based on Italy. Austrian Airlines sells in the name and on account of Retail in Motion GmbH and has made the offer Austrian. In terms of price, there are no significant differences in roughly comparable food and drinks.
Air Dolomiti and Austrian Airlines handle the distribution of free water completely differently. The Italian carrier distributes a small bottle, which holds 0,33 liters, as usual. As a rule, it is still mineral water from the San Benedetto brand, which is actively distributed by the cabin crew. At the Austrian sister company, the flight attendants do not point out to the passengers that they can at least have a little water for free. There is only a tiny hint in the footer of the menu. AUA passengers can only receive a 0,2 liter bottle of still mineral water from the Vöslauer brand upon active request.
Furthermore, both carriers give their passengers a small piece of candy free of charge. At the AUA you get a round piece of chocolate. Air Dolomiti offers a small, individually wrapped biscuit. Each passenger should decide for themselves whether biscuits or chocolate taste better, because tastes are very different, especially when it comes to sweets.
Minimal differences: AUA better for the laptop, Air Dolomiti better for thirst
From the pure flight product, i.e. flying from A to B, there are no differences between Air Dolomiti in terms of tariffs and included services. These are in the details of the Embraer 195 machine type. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether they need a WLAN IFES or sleep on board the mostly short flights. The look of the cabins of both providers is high-quality and well-kept, so that the distinguishing criteria boil down to the color of the covers and the minimally different seats: For business travelers who want to work with their laptop, the significantly larger folding tables at Austrian Airlines should be more comfortable, since that device is more stable. Neither Lufthansa subsidiary offers a power supply.
With regard to the included water, Air Dolomiti scores with the fact that the quantity is larger and this is actively offered to the passengers. Austrian Airlines gives the impression that they want to give as little information as possible so that as many passengers as possible do not know anything about their included mini water. In any case, there is no other explanation for the fact that the flight attendants do not actively point this out and that there is only a tiny note in the footer of the menu.