Austrian Airlines is the flagship airline of Austria, with its headquarters in the Vienna International Airport.
The airline was founded on September 30, 1957, making its maiden voyage on March 18, 1958, when a Vickers Viscount 779 took off from Vienna to London. The airline was created by the merger of Air Austria and Austrian Airways. Transatlantic services began on April 1, 1969 with a service between Vienna and New York with a stopover in Brussels.
Austrian became a member of Star Alliance in 2000. That same year, the airline acquired Lauda Air, an airline whose operations included long-range flights.
In 2008 the airline and Lufthansa announced that Lufthansa had the intention to acquire shares of ÖIAG and 2% in the hands of the airline, Lufthansa gained shareholder control in the airline, with the acceptance of the European Commission, Lufthansa took control of the airline in September 2009.
The arrival of a new CEO, Jaan Albrecht, in 2011, signaled the beginning of a new stage for the airline, which improved the number of passengers and provided a strategic position within the network of Lufthansa. The conclusion of the work of enlargement of the Vienna International Airport contributed to the airline having more space for expansion. As a result, in January 2012, they implemented a new business strategy, with the acquisition of eleven new aircraft over the next three years, leading to the renewal of the fleet in the long term, with Airbus aircraft to operate medium-range routes, and Boeing aircraft with for the operation of the long-range routes.
The color scheme of the airline has always been based on the pattern red-white-red. The aircraft from the 1950s until the 80s were silvered by the belly of the aircraft, while the upper part was white with the “Austrian Airlines Chevron”, which has had three versions. In 1960, it had a profile similar to that of a toy paper airplane, but it moved to the current form in 1972. In the new corporate design, in use since 2003, the former “Chevron” has come to be used again, but on this occasion with a more modern design and with the simulation of a shadow in the background.
Plenty of diagrams and special paints have been used over the decades. Since its entry into Star Alliance, some of its aircraft have flown with the Star Alliance painted on its fuselage. For Mozart Year 2006, an Airbus A320 was decorated with a design that represented Mozart, and an Airbus A340-300 was decorated with a tribute to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Then another three designs were painted to advertise the Euro 2008 soccer championship. An Airbus A320 received retro livery on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the company.