Successful start of Skylink operations
First 10,000 passengers handled in new Check-in 3
From check-in to security controls and boarding: all systems basically functioning as planned
Old arrivals hall now closed, all passengers arriving in the new terminal
Renovation of Terminal 1 to start at the end of June 2012
The terminal extension Skylink (Check-in 3) has been in operation since this morning, and all systems are basically functioning as planned. The morning peak hour, the first real test, was easily mastered: 116 flights with roughly 10,000 passengers had been handled by 10:00 am, and todays schedule calls for 440 flights with almost 37,000 travellers.
In the early morning hours ‑ at 4.45 am, the first flight (OS 9542), an Austrian Airlines Boeing 737-800 from Hurghada, docked at the pier of the new terminal. The first departing flight took off at 5.25 am (OS 9123) for Karpathos. The first arriving and departing passengers were personally welcomed bythe Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG, Julian Jäger (COO) and Günther Ofner (CFO). The first departing passengers, Adele H. and Hanna P., two young Prague residents, with their daughters Julia and Magdalena also received a gift in the form of a shopping voucher. After a trial phase, when interim adjustments can be made, the official opening of the new terminal will take place on 21 June 2012. Modifications will, of course, also be made after that time to continuously improve functionality and convenience at Vienna Airport.
Today is a great day for Flughafen Wien. With this terminal, Vienna Airport is entering a new era. I would like to thank the Management Board and the entire team for bringing this difficult project to a successful conclusion. The successful start of operations is also a result of the future-oriented course the company has taken under its new management, commented Erwin Hameseder, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Flughafen Wien AG.
When you start operations with complex machinery like an airport terminal, you are always walking on thin ice, summarised Julian Jäger, and thats why we are extremely pleased over the smooth functioning of nearly all systems. All in all, we can say the start-up was a success. CFO Günther Ofner is also pleased with the results: The tension of the past weeks has now given way to satisfaction and relief. The schedule was met and costs are under control. However, we did have a few nervous minutes ‑ for example, with a two-hour power outage during the first peak period test. Both members of the Management Board cited the enormous team spirit as a success factor: Without the expert project management by Norbert Steiner starting in 2009 and the substantial commitment of all involved employees, this would not have been possible. We would like to thank all these men and women for their efforts.
In the future, roughly 60% of all passengers will be handled in the new terminal. Airport personnel will be distributing handy orientation plans to help the first travellers find their way through the terminal. Arriving passengers were also greeted warmly with a Viennese waltz in the new arrivals hall that provided an opportunity for a short dance.
Successful overnight relocation
The changeover from the old to the new terminal was largely problem-free: after the completion of check-in procedures in the old building, the last Austrian Airlines equipment and airport operating units were transferred to the new departure hall. All systems ‑ including the IT infrastructure, check-in and handling programmes as well as security control equipment ‑ were then tested one last time. Hundreds of Flughafen Wien and Austrian Airlines employees worked throughout the night to make todays transfer and operational start-up possible. Only final optimisation steps remain to make operations in the terminal even better and to prepare for a further increase in the number of passengers during the upcoming holiday season.
New central arrivals hall for all travellers at Vienna Airport
The old arrivals hall will be closed as of today. All passengers will enter through the arrivals hall in the new terminal and collect their baggage at one of the ten carousels. Passengers disembarking in Pier East, Pier West or an open aircraft position will also be directed to the new central arrivals hall. This area contains numerous shops and gastronomy facilities, such as a Spar Gourmet supermarket, which are also available to non-travellers. The arrivals hall provides directs access to the City Airport Train (CAT), the rapid transit railway, car park no. 4, short-term parking area K3 and the bus station.
Intensive preparations: training for 2,800 employees at the airport
Todays opening was preceded by a long preparation phase: the major components, such as baggage sorting equipment and security systems, were readied for operation and tested over a period of many years. In four-month trials with 3,200 test passengers, all terminal processes were analysed, over 1,700 arrivals and departures were simulated and nearly 85,000 pieces of baggage were checked in. More than 2,800 employees of Flughafen Wien and its partners, including airlines, public authorities and emergency service organisations, were trained to use the new terminal facilities.
New shopping and gastronomy offering: gourmet restaurants and exclusive wine bars
After checking in, all passengers departing from the new terminal will pass through a central security zone with 15 control lines. The corridor then leads through an expansive shopping and gastronomy area with an offering that ranges from the Asian gourmet cuisine of Austrias star chef Wini Brugger in the Indochine Light to fine wines in the SkyWineLounge and DeCanto wine bars and a relaxed coffeehouse atmosphere in the Meinl Foodcourt and Caffé Ritazza. In this area travellers will also find boutiques with well-known international brands like Lagerfeld, Dolce & Gabbana, Thomas Sabo and many more. The new terminal doubles the retail and gastronomy space at Vienna Airport to over 19,000 m².
Multimedia installations by Ars Electronica and family lounges
The pier with the new F and G Gates is located on the rear side of the shopping and gastronomy zone. Here, Vienna Airport has introduced a number of innovative services: new seating furniture was designed especially for the waiting areas ? for example, laptop chairs with electrical connections and visual protection, where passengers can surf undisturbed through the Internet with their notebooks in Vienna Airports free WLAN. Special Family Lounges provide entertaining opportunities for the youngest travellers to pass the time up to departure.
Travel and the time people spend at airports are also the subject of spectacular multimedia installations by the well-known Ars Electronica: at six stations visitors can experience new travel perspectives in various time dimensions: landscapes of letters move across oversized
LCD screens and change interactively when passengers walk through boarding card controls. Large stylised nodes on numerous screens show the departures and arrivals at Vienna Airport in real time, and the Last Clock installation visualises live pictures of the happenings at the airport over 24 hours in a circular form. Passengers can see these and other works by Ars Electronica at the check-in level and in the F and G Gate areas. Flughafen Wien also uses this installation as an advertising medium for half the available time.
New terminal designations and additional Gates F and G
In order to provide a better overview, designations at the airport were changed to accommodate the expansion of the terminal area by 150,000 m². Vienna Airport now has four check-in areas: Check-in 1 ? counters 159-199 (former Terminal 1), Check-in 1A ? counters 111-139 (former Terminal 1A), Check-in 2 ? counters 201-299 (former Terminal 2) and Check-in 3 ? counters 301-399 (new Terminal). Check-in procedures for all carriers handled by Austrian Airlines will now take place in Check-in 3. With only a few exceptions (Turkish Airlines and Brussels Airlines), all Star Alliance flights will use the new terminal.
New additions are the F and G Gate areas, which will handle nearly all Austrian Airlines departures. Exceptions are the long-haul flights to the USA, which will continue to depart from the D Gates because current regulations require closed gates and the additional control of travel documents.
Modernisation of older areas: renovation of Check-in 1 to start in June 2012
Following the opening of the new terminal, Flughafen Wien will now start to renovate and modernise the current terminal facilities. Work started at the end of June 2012 to revitalise the old Terminal 1 (Check-in 1). However, the shopping arcade and car park 3 will still be available to passengers. Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of 2012, when Air Berlin and NIKI will relocate to the redesigned terminal. Work will then begin on the old Terminal 2 (Check-in 2).
Information on the changes at Vienna Airport also available online
Detailed information on the changes taking place at Vienna Airport with the opening of the new terminal is also available on the Flughafen Wien homepage under www.viennaairport.com. Among others, this information shows the check-in areas used by the various airlines and the check-in counters for individual flights as well as layout plans with details on the shops and restaurants, lounges and services provided at Vienna Airport.
For additional information contact: Flughafen Wien AG Press Office
Peter Kleemann (+43-1-) 7007-23000
Clemens Schleinzer (+43-1-) 7007-22399
Stefanie Tomanek (+43-1-) 7007-26939