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Calm returns to Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines aircraft

The union and the company agreed to increase wages by 20 percent over a three-year period.

After intensive talks, the union Vida and the company reached an agreement on Thursday evening on the wage increase for AUA's cabin crew. According to a statement from Vida, the income of the approximately 2,500 flight attendants and 1,000 pilots will be increased by 20 percent in several steps by 2026. In addition, the co-pilots will receive a salary increase of eleven percent.

Daniel Liebhart, head of the aviation department at Vida, explained that this agreement represents a significant increase in the salaries of cabin crew above the rate of inflation. The staggered implementation of the wage increases over a period of three years also offers the company a certain degree of planning security.

The agreement is subject to approval by union members, although this is largely seen as a formality.

"Duty of Peace"

The risk of further strikes seems to be ruled out for the near future, as Vida and AUA have also agreed on a so-called peace obligation as part of their agreement. This means that no strikes or other operational interruptions may take place until the collective agreement expires in 2026. "Travelers can therefore book their flight tickets with Austrian Airlines without worry in the coming years," explained Liebhart.

Depending on the results of the 2025 financial year, there is a possibility that salaries will be increased by an additional two percent in April 2026. There are also plans to reduce the workload and improve protection in the event of loss of a pilot's license for health reasons.

20 rounds of negotiations

This year's negotiations were particularly challenging, stretching over 20 meetings since mid-January. During this period, industrial action led to numerous flight cancellations, including over the Easter weekend, causing significant financial damage to the company. The union demanded that salaries be brought in line with the level of the parent company Lufthansa, which would have meant an average wage increase of 30 percent, a proposal that management rejected as too costly.

Annette Mann, the head of AUA, warned of the possible consequence that the Lufthansa Group could increasingly serve Vienna Airport with other subsidiaries due to increased costs caused by higher wages. The union expressed concerns that AUA could be downgraded to a low-cost airline within the group. After a long public dispute, AUA and Vida decided to keep quiet about the progress of the negotiations.

Günther Ofner, the head of Vienna Airport and head of aviation at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ), welcomed the outcome of the negotiations in a statement and stressed that this would be a relief for both employees and customers.

AUA flies to Tehran again from today

Due to the uncertain security situation, flights to the Islamic Republic were temporarily suspended. Until May 9, no flights to Tehran could be booked with Austrian Airlines and Iranian airspace was considered closed.

However, the aviation magazine "Austrian Wings" reports that flights to Iran will resume as early as May 2. According to Anita Kiefer, spokeswoman for AUA, after an ongoing review of the security situation in the Middle East, in coordination with Lufthansa, it was decided to allow both connections to Tehran and the use of Iranian airspace again from this earlier date.

Nevertheless, changes could occur at short notice. "The safety of our crews and passengers is our top priority," Kiefer stressed.

It is not yet clear whether the recent escalation between the two states has ended. However, some experts believe that no further direct attacks are to be expected in the near future.

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