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Air China, Austrian Airlines reach free sale deal
Updated: 2004-10-20 10:28

Air China and Austrian Airlines reached an agreement on free ticket sales Tuesday, which will go into effect Oct. 31, the start of the 2004 winter season, according to an Air China source.

While the present cooperation contract provides only limited sales possibilities for Air China on Austrian Airlines flights from Vienna to China, the new agreement will give Air China a flexible sales access to the entire seat capacity.

Dr. Josef E. Burger, chief commercial officer of the Austrian Airlines Group expressed the hope that significantly more Air China passengers would be fed into the Austrian network as a result, taking advantage of the 39 destinations in Central and Eastern Europe.

"This new closer cooperation with Air China is an essential step in the expansion of our interests in the Chinese market and it will also strengthen the position of Vienna as our home hub," he added.

Since the beginning of the 2004 summer schedule, Austrian Airlines has increased long-range programs by more than 25 percent,mainly focusing on the Asian-Pacific market. In 2004 the Austrian carrier doubled the flights between Beijing and Vienna from three to six flights a week and inaugurated a new non-stop service from Shanghai to Vienna with three flights a week.

"As more and more Chinese travelers fly to Europe, Austrian Airlines will increase its Shanghai frequencies from currently 3 to 5 weekly flights in the summer schedule 2005," Burger said. "A third destination point in China is under serious evaluation."

He also hoped two airlines will cooperate in the cargo businesssoon.

Austrian Airlines started cooperation with Air China on scheduled flights between Beijing and Vienna in 1995.

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