Austrian Airlines offers one of my favorite transatlantic business class products. Their hard product is quite nice in that it’s a staggered fully flat product (I reviewed it twice flying between Vienna and Tokyo Narita — the reviews can be found here and here).
But really my favorite part of flying with them is their amazing food and dedicated coffee menu. Catering is done by DO & CO, and I find their food to be as good as what you’d get in first class on most other airlines.
Naturally I’m quite excited that they just announced expansions to their US service as of next year.
The most significant announcement is that Austrian will be launching 5x weekly flights to Newark as of July 2, 2014. The new flight will be operated by a Boeing 767-300 aircraft with the following schedule:
OS89 Vienna to Newark departing 10:15AM arriving 1:35PM
OS90 Newark to Vienna departing 5:55PM arriving 8:35AM (+1 day)
The new service will operate on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in both directions. Even though they already fly to New York JFK, the route makes perfect sense due to United’s hub at Newark. This route will probably be big for connecting passengers, while the New York JFK service is very much an “origin and destination” route.
Their North American expansion doesn’t stop there. Austrian’s daily service between Vienna and Washington Dulles will be operated by a Boeing 777-200 as of July 1, 2014. Previously it was operated by a 767-300, so this represents an increase of 12 business class and 82 economy class seats per flight, so will hopefully translate into more award availability.
Lastly, Austrian launched 5x weekly service to Chicago as of May 17, 2013. Starting May 1, 2014, Austrian will fly daily between Vienna and Chicago. The service will continue to be operated by a 767-300 aircraft.
As far as award availability goes, best I can tell Austrian hasn’t loaded any award space for their new Newark service. I also don’t see an increase in award availability for the increased Chicago service or higher capacity Washington service. If that changes I’ll be sure to report back.