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Emirates celebrates its 20th anniversary in Austria


VIENNA/DUBAI: On 1 May 2004, an Emirates aircraft landed in Vienna for the first time. Just one month later, the airline was already serving the Austrian capital with a daily flight to Dubai. Since then, the number of flights has doubled and the range of services has steadily expanded. This month, Emirates is celebrating its 20th anniversary in Vienna and still has big plans for the future of its operations in the market.

Since its first flight to Vienna in 2004, Emirates has been a familiar sight in the skies and an integral part of the Austrian aviation industry. Emirates celebrated its first successes in Austria Under Martin Gross’ leadership, who retired in 2022 passing the baton to Elisabeth Zauner, current Country Manager Austria. Thanks to the consistent high demand, the Vienna-Dubai route was served after just four years with the Boeing 777-300ER, the largest passenger aircraft at the time. With 14 weekly non-stop flights from Dubai to Vienna, Emirates offers holiday and business travellers seamless connectivity to Dubai and beyond to over 140 destinations in its global network. The airline has so far carried more than 5 million passengers on over 20,500 flights with between the two gateways.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Emirates’ operations in Austria. For two decades, we have continuously expanded our offerings to provide a world-class experience and seamless global connectivity for Austrian travellers, together with our partners. We’ve seen many positive changes and interesting shifts in the travel and aviation industry since we launched our flights to Vienna, and look forward to continuing our journey with new and exciting innovations for years to come.” Said Elisabeth Zauner.

Emirates’ marked the 20th anniversary in Vienna by incorporating a touch of Austrian tradition. The anniversary flight was welcomed at Vienna International Airport by a Viennese dance performance from the school Svabek, which has also performed during the opening of the Vienna Opera Ball for years. Five professional dance couples performed a classic Viennese waltz formation to the tunes of “Rosen aus dem Süden” by Johann Strauss.

Emirates also gave away a very special thank you to all Emirates Skywards members who travelled with the airline in May, with a chance to win one of 20 Tier Upgrades, where Emirates Skywards membership status is automatically increased by one tier (from Blue to Silver or from Silver to Gold).

In 2014, the Emirates A380 made its first regular landing in Vienna on the occasion of the airline’s tenth anniversary in Austria. Capt. Markus Ausserhofer, had the honour of piloting the world’s largest passenger aircraft on its maiden flight at the time. Capt. Markus has moved on in his career to become Manager Compliance Monitoring Flight Operations at Emirates.

“The landing in Vienna was an unforgettable moment for me, when I realised the scale of the event for the first time. The memory of the many cheering spectators remains with me to this day. It seemed as if every person at Vienna Airport was waiting for my arrival. I was and am grateful that as an Austrian and an A380 pilot I was able to be part of this event,” said Markus Ausserhofer, still full of enthusiasm.

Just two years later, the A380 was allowed to fly regularly to and from Vienna, setting new standards for commercial flights at Vienna Airport. From then on, Emirates has been serving Vienna with its largest passenger aircraft – the A380 and the Boeing 777-300ER – offering over 1,000 travellers the opportunity to fly to destinations all over the world every day.

Julian Jäger, Joint CEO and COO of Vienna Airport, is proud of the long-standing partnership: “Emirates has brought a breath of fresh air to Austria. With the regular use of the A380, the only one of its kind in Vienna, the airline has created a milestone in airport development and a highlight for passengers and aviation fans. Emirates’ commitment to first-class service meets our own high standards, and we greatly appreciate this quality. Congratulations – we look forward to many more years of good cooperation.”

Since 2004, Emirates SkyCargo has also been transporting freight to and from Vienna in the cargo hold of the two daily passenger aircraft. A total of around 120,000 tonnes of freight have already been transported to Vienna and around 129,100 tonnes from Vienna with Emirates SkyCargo. Export goods from Austria mostly include electronics, pharmaceuticals or crystal goods and are delivered to markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Emirates SkyCargo now transports 31 tonnes of freight per day between Vienna and Dubai, and from there to destinations all over the world.

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