Well this is certainly awesome news – Austrian Airlines has just announced that their long-haul fleet of 767s and 777s will be operated on short and medium-haul routes through the end of 2016!
Per an announcement from Austrian Airlines, through the end of 2016, Austrian will be operating their fleet of long-haul 767s and 777s on short and medium-haul flights – including intra-European flights! Austrian says their widebody fleet is being operated on these shorter routes as a result of the Embraer being integrated into their fleet. That has resulted in the need to cross-train their pilots on all aircraft operated by the airline. Due to the number of training and check flights, Austrian needs to carry out some of their training on shorter haul routes – which is great news if you happen to be traveling via Vienna (VIE)!
I recently had the opportunity to fly Austrian Airlines’ 767 to Vienna (VIE) and the experience from top to bottom was absolutely stellar. Austrian’s 767s and 777s are equipped with fully lie-flat seats in a staggered configuration.
While I still prefer the reverse herringbone seats overall, the Austrian Airlines style business class seats are probably my next favorite design.
While the food service will remain the same as it otherwise would on your route, Austrian has among the best food in the sky as DO & CO. does all of their catering. Even the short-haul meal I had on Austrian was absolutely fantastic and one of the best I have ever had in the sky!
So, what routes are these widebody aircraft being operated on? As of right now, Austrian is operating their 767s and 777s on flights between Vienna (VIE) and:
- Frankfurt (FRA)
- Milan (MXP)
- Paris (CDG)
- London (LHR)
- Larnaca (LCA)
- Cairo (CAI)
- Tel Aviv (TLV)
The days that the widebody aircraft are operating on these routes seems to be very random, so if you are looking for award space on one of these routes, be prepared to spend a little time doing so. Award space on these routes – when you can find them being flown by widebodies – seems fantastic though. I would generally recommend you use United for your award searches as their system seems to be the easiest to hop from day to day with.
I don’t think it is any secret that I love when airlines offer premium international cabins on shorter haul routes (or that I go out of my way to fly them whenever possible), so this news really excites me. If you happen to be flying within Europe in the next few months and need to route through Vienna (VIE), I would definitely look for one of the routes operated with either a 767 or 777. Austrian Airlines intra-European business class is fantastic in general, but add in a fantastic fully lie-flat seat and this easily becomes one of the best way to travels within Europe!
Will any of you be taking advantage of any of these routes?
Be sure you get all the latest content from the Jet Set Blog first by entering your e-mail address in the upper right hand corner of this page! Also be sure to like the Points Jet Setter on Facebook and follow @ThePointsJetSet on Twitter!