September 3: The takeover of Austrian Airlines by the Lufthansa Group was finally made official with the German airline taking a 90% shareholding.
“Lufthansa has shown that it stands by its word even in difficult conditions,” said Dr Peter Michaelis, Executive Board Member of Österreichische Industrieholding AG, the parent company of Austrian Airlines (AUA). “That strengthens my conviction that AUA will take off again – it will retain its identity and continue operating as an autonomous company.”
Dr Andreas Bierwirth, Chief Communications Officer of Austrian Airlines said: “Should anyone believe we can now rest and take it easy on board, and let Lufthansa’s powerful engines fly us back into the profit zone, we must get them to face up to the harsh facts of reality. Success will not be handed us on a plate, we must earn it ourselves.”
The European Commission had previously given the green light for the merger. Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “With the approval from Brussels, we now have the opportunity to stand up to international competition. We are convinced that with our merger we have taken a significant and the right step into a joint future for both carriers. Our common paramount objective is to ensure the survival of Austrian within the Lufthansa Group.”