In 2021, waves of openings and closures and the emergence of new virus variants caused another year of crisis in aviation. Austrian Airlines closed the past year with a loss of EUR -264 million (Adjusted EBIT), a plus (+17%) compared to 2020 (EUR -319 million), but still a negative development compared to 2019 (Adjusted EBIT: EUR 19 million). Even if the number of passengers (5.0 million) seasonally developed very positively last year (61%, 2020: 3.1 million), they only accounted for around a third of the number of passengers compared to 2019 (14.7 million) due to numerous travel restrictions and renewed lockdowns.
As of 31 December 2021, Austrian Airlines had 5,793 employees, which is a decrease of around 650 employees or 10 percent compared to 2020 and a decrease of around 1,196 employees or 17 percent compared to 2019. The reduction was due to natural attrition, not filling vacant positions and the expiry of limited term employment contracts.
The seat load factor in 2021 was at 61.9 percent, consistent to 2020 and 18.9 percentage points lower than 2019 (80.8 percent).
After the announcement of large-scale easings in Europe, Austrian Airlines recorded the highest number of bookings since the beginning of the corona crisis. Over 500,000 flights were booked within only 14 days. The bookings mainly focused on the private travel segment – a continuing trend from last year. Therefore, the Austrian national carrier has optimized this year’s summer flight schedule for tourist travel by increasing its offer to European holiday destinations by around 20 percent compared to 2019. In summer, Austrian Airlines’ flight program includes 110 destinations with new additions on both short and long-haul routes. However, the increase in bookings is not limited to the summer peak. Currently, there is also high demand for the Easter holidays and spontaneous weekend trips.