A historic day: The AUA is back today after the corona deep sleep. Shortly before seven o'clock, the Embraer 195 takes off for Munich - steered by the fleet manager himself. But despite the joy of the resumption, the airline flies on sight.
After a 90-day Corona break, the home carrier Austrian Airlines welcomes its passengers back on board. The station employees were literally beaming with euphoria when they received AUA boss Alexis von Hoensbroech together with the first passengers cheering and waving flags at the gate of the scheduled flight OS111. “Although I'm not an early riser, it was noticeably easy for me to get up today. Today is a very emotional day for the whole AUA team, ”said von Hoensbroech, visibly moved by the actions of the employees.
In addition to the protective mask, which must be worn during the entire flight, you notice as soon as you enter the airport that Covid-19 has largely changed flying: There are disinfectant dispensers and markings throughout the terminal to keep your distance. Boarding takes place in small groups so that the distance rules can be adhered to. In the flight cabin you will be given cleaning cloths with which you can thoroughly disinfect the seat surfaces and armrests. If the load permits, the passengers are placed as far away as possible. You also miss the smile of the flight attendants, because removing the mask is only allowed on board if you want to eat the limited on-board catering.
Photos: Thomas Ramgraber
In addition, fever measurements are taken after landing. The whole thing is rounded off by the so-called Passanger Locator Card, which every passenger must fill out with personal information. If the worst comes to the worst, this will be handed over to the health authorities, who will be able to identify possible contact persons more easily. These strict regulations are important to ensure safe travel even in times of Corona, said Julian Jäger, one of the two board members at Vienna Airport. He is particularly pleased with the government's aid package: “Vienna Airport is not complete without Austrian Airlines. This decision benefits not only us, but the entire business location, as the AUA flies to many indispensable hubs. "
And although the important first step has been taken, Alex von Hoensbroech sees the future realistically. “This month we're flying 5 percent of the usual flight schedule - almost nothing. Most of the planes are still standing still. We want to increase gradually by the end of the year, so that we come to half of the actually planned capacity. This will depend on people's desire to travel. ”The manageable flight bookings for the summer months in particular show that it will take a long time to reach the pre-Corona level again. Even in the next three years this will not be entirely possible. Nevertheless, it is well known that rain is followed by sunshine. All levers have been and will be set in motion to reopen the doors to the world for people. "We are ready to fly!"