Opening the door to Europe
SIX hours’ flying time from Dubai, Austria is the ideal gateway to Europe, says Austrian Airlines’ Rejinald Rajan, district sales manager, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
TTN’s VIPULANANDA SIVA caught up with him to find out more. Excerpts:
Are you launching any new routes this year?
We will start flying from Vienna to Chicago from May, which will be our third gateway to the US besides New York and Washington. Middle Eastern travellers now have another option with us.
What are your strategies for this year?
To promote Austria as a destination with our strong product in Austrian Airlines and by strong marketing activities like advertisement campaigns and attractive fares and by creating affordable holiday packages. Austria is centrally located and serves as a gateway to east and west Europe alike.
What about the demand from expatriates?
That’s actually quite good, and it is increasing steadily.
How far are visas a deciding factor in developing Austria/central Europe packages to the Mideast market? What are the other key factors?
In certain cases, the visa gets delayed hence a last minute travel decision to these destinations is not feasible. But with the full support of the Austrian Embassy in the UAE, travellers can be helped in the most convenient way within the rules and regulations.
Beyond the lakes and resorts in the summer, and the snow-capped mountains in the winter, Opec being headquartered in Vienna and increasing business relations between Austria and the Arab countries are major reasons for increased activity between these two regions.
What about the Central European countries?
Once the awareness of these countries increases among Middle East travellers, they will start diverting their travel plans from the most travelled West Europe and Far East destinations. Austrian Airlines holds the leading position among the European carriers to operate to these airlines, and offers comparatively better connectivity with the most attractive fares.