Last week, the Business Traveller Awards were announced in Germany for a variety of travel related categories. Among them, SWISS, Lufthansa and Austrian took 1st, 2nd & 3rd respectively in the category that awarded best ‘Business Airline for Business Travellers in Germany and Europe’. The win for SWISS was its 2nd consecutive for the category.
SWISS was also recognized by readers for ‘Best Airline For International Business Travellers‘ and was awarded a respectable 3rd place for the category.
Additionally, Lufthansa took home 1st place for “Best Website For Business Travellers“.
The Business Traveller Awards are awarded on an annual basis and are determined by reader balloting.
AUSTRIAN has announced today that they are expanding their successful “Smart Upgrade” program to now include intra-European flights.
Until now, Smart Upgrade allowed passengers who had purchased Economy Class tickets for long haul flights to submit an auction-style bid in an effort to move to a Business Class seat. After submitting bids online, passengers find out if they were successful 72 hours ahead of their scheduled departure.
Since the program began last year Austrian has received 23,000 bids so on the heels of this popularity so they’ve decided to expand the program to cover flights within Europe.
A couple of weeks ago I shared some news from Austrian regarding the attempt by an individual to ‘tow’ one of Austrian’s 777. The event has come and gone and I’m happy to report that the feat was accomplished.
On Monday July 23, Franz Müllner using a basic harness, successfully pulled the 777 a distance of 10 meters which resulted in a new World Record.
Austrian posted a YouTube video showing the incredible feat:
As you are reading this Austrian’s latest 777 addition, OE-LPE, debuted today and is enroute from Vienna and will be arriving at New York’s JFK at approximately 2:00p Eastern Time.
This marks the 5th 777 to join the fleet and is the aircraft responsible for Austrian’s ability to introduce new service to Newark that is set to begin on July 2.
The aircraft, nicknamed ‘Blue Danube’ has been completely retrofitted and sports Austrian’s new Economy and Business Class cabin that were installed while the plane underwent a thorough C-check that required over 57,000 man-hours to complete. In fact, it was AUSTRIAN’s largest ever undertaking as far as aircraft maintenance and retrofit are concerned. In all, Austrian has €50 million invested in the aircraft, including €20 for the retrofit alone.
Austrian’s beautiful new Business Class Cabin
According to Austrian, this single aircraft is responsible for the creation of 130 new jobs at the airline including 20 pilots and 90 flight attendants. Austrian expects the ‘Blue Danube’ to add €80 million in revenue and carry 170,000 passengers each year.
The aircraft is being leased from ILFC (International Lease Finance Company) and originally entered service with AeroFlot in 1998. It was also part of Vietnam Airlines’ fleet from 2005 until delivery to Austrian in March of this year.
On Monday July 23, The Austrian version of the ‘Rock’ will attempt to set a new world record by pulling an Austrian 777 by himself at Vienna’s Airport.
Franz Müllner, known as the ‘Austrian Rock’, will strap himself into a harness and attempt to pull one of Austrian’s Boeing 777 a distance of 10 meters in a bid to set a World Record. He’ll have his work cut out for him as the aircraft weights approximately 142 tons when unloaded.
I’m not about to bet against this man……
Müllner is no stranger to incredible feats and world record setting efforts. According to his website, he has been setting records and demonstrating amazing feats of strength for 12 years. This endeavor however looks to become his crowning achievement.
To get a sense of what is involved ahead of the attempt, here’s a video providing a sneak peak into the prepartions: