Austrian Airlines Repays State Loan Ahead of Schedule

PeopleExecutives ♦ Published: October 27, 2022; 09:47 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austrian Airlines recently announced that it plans to repay the government loan granted in 2020 to bridge the COVID-19 pandemic by the end of 2022. This is possible due to the increasing number of passengers and a particularly profitable summer.

Due to the high liquidity after a strong summer quarter and a credit line from the German parent company Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines was able to repay the loan early. / Picture: © Austrian Airlines / Flickr Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The crisis-ridden Austrian Airlines is back on track for success. After a record summer, the airline managed to return to profitability and was able to repay the government loan granted by the Republic of Austria in July 2020 ahead of schedule.

Of the initial 300 million euros, 210 million euros were still outstanding. Instead, a credit line was obtained from the parent company Lufthansa.

Despite numerous systemic challenges in European aviation, Austrian achieved its best quarterly result in over 20 years this summer with a good and stable operational performance.

It was proud to be able to repay the loan ahead of schedule, "even though the deep financial scars of the pandemic will not be fully healed for a few years," AUA CEO Annette Mann said in the press release. The original loan would not have had to be repaid until 2025.

At 687 million euros, the third quarter of 2022 was more than twice as strong in terms of revenue as in the previous year, when 304 million euros were generated.

Austrian Airlines' total revenue for the summer months was 718 million euros. More than four million passengers - and thus 73% more than in the comparable period of 2021 with 2.3 million - flew with Austrian Airlines in the third quarter of the year. Despite numerous challenges in European mid-summer travel, Austrian flights took off with a regularity of 99.2%.

Thanks to the good liquidity development and a credit line from the Lufthansa Group, the Austrian airline will be able to repay the remaining 210 million euros of the total loan of 300 million euros early and in full at the end of the year.

The repayment of the government-backed loan, originally planned for the end of 2025, which was granted in July 2020, gives the company more flexibility and scope for the future. Austrian Airlines CEO Annette Mann: "The Austrian team has fought for this result itself despite strong headwinds. We are proud to be able to repay the government-backed loan in full ahead of schedule thanks to this team performance."

AUA Austrian Airlines